[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs

Matthew Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Tue Jul 18 01:02:56 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Mon, 17 Jul 2000, John Buehler wrote:

> Greg Miller
> Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 5:57 AM
> >Absolutely. This is one thing I like a lot about handing mud government
> >over to the players. Politics gives people a chance to do something of
> >significance to the game world that focuses around socialization.
> This has been a topic that I have been something of a disbeliever in for
> some time, especially if casual gamers are to ever become mainstream.  I
> take it as axiomatic that one player cannot rely on another player for any
> significant element of entertainment.  This is what gamemasters are for:
> to entertain the players.  In a massive player setting, the computer works
> as an assistant to the gamemaster, but the result is the same.

> I KNOW that a game can be constructed in which players occupy political
> seats and control gameplay.  The question is, will there be lots of players
> who are interested in being governed?  My concerns stem from the quality of
> service provided by players to other players.  If I need a judge and the
> guy who plays Chief Justice is at work and unavailable to sit his chair,
> what happens?  Do we fall back on automatic behaviors at that time?  Do
> we somehow avoid having single points of failure in the social makeup?

Speaking as someone who has thought a lot about politics in games, and
whose game has a variety of political positions inhabited by players, I
can tell you with complete assurance that it works fine. In fact, I would
say that the player leaders provide _better_ service and help than admins
generally do. They are more connected to the experience of being a player
and are in a better position to help and coddle the younger players. And
if you need a judge and the chief justice is at work, you wait until he's
back. It's no different from if you need a judge irl and he is sleeping.
You wait until work hours. People are quite adaptable and those sorts of
complaints are minor. Is it perfect? No, but then nothing is. 

> Services like trades are usually 24x7 when handled by players because it
> is a competitive atmosphere.  And there can be many players providing the
> same service.  But in a government there are a variety of unique positions
> that, if vacated, cause problems.  I'd be interested to hear how you see
> this working.  Because I don't.

That's easy. You just provide for redundancy in the system. For instance,
the Chancellor, Minister of War, Steward, Treasurer, etc etc of a city all
can appoint aides, who can carry out all the duties of the office, aside
from appointing and unappointing aides.


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