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

Dave Rickey daver at mythicgames.com
Tue Jul 18 18:36:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Dughi <dughi at imaxx.net>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 5:19 PM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs


>> From: Greg Miller <gmiller at classic-games.com>
>>
>>     It is *not* more accurate to equate Grief Players with Killers.
Killers
>> are defined by their desire to hold and excercise control over other
>> players, Griefers are defined by their desire to *cause other people
grief*.
>> All Griefers are Killers, but (thank god, considering their numbers) not
all
>> Killers are Griefers.  Not even close.
>>
> Not all griefers are killers, not even close.  What about those
>that jump on and use global communication to advertise pornography sites.

    They are neither, simply a spammer with no connection to the game
context.

>What about the ones that follow a person around and make fun of what
>they're doing just to get them upset?  What about people who log on 40
>characters at once and perform some action in a room so as to obliterate
>any messaging going on in there for any player (text muds in this case).
>How about grief players who are represented by the impotent player
>who _used_ to be a grief player before he was deleted/banned/jailed/etc,
>and now only logs on to issue threats or untrue claims about the mud?
>What about those who hound the female players for cybersex (and yes, this
>happens around 5 times a play session for an average female-looking
>player, on a few muds I've seen).

    Of all the labels Dr. Bartle chose to apply, "Killer" was the most
poorly chosen.  It seems to presume that if a player doesn't not kill other
players, his motivations are not those of a Killer.  He made the very
mistake I am speaking of: assuming that the killer was inherently a negative
influence, an unfortunate neccessity.  At the very beginning of his paper,
he lays out his basic motivations for players as a negative for the Killer:

"iv) Imposition upon others.

Players use the tools provided by the game to cause distress to (or, in rare
circumstances, to help) other players. Where permitted, this usually
involves acquiring some weapon and applying it enthusiastically to the
persona of another player in the game world."

Nyet, nein, no, wrong, completely off the mark.  This is like saying the
motivations of an Achiever is to "make all other players feel inadequate
through monopolization of the best stuff in the game."

The primary motivation vector of the "Killer" is to ACT on the PLAYERS, on
the graph Bartle lays out.  The "killer" wants to have control over other
players, if the only way he can get control in the game context is to kill
them, then he is likely to turn to that.  Given the opportunity for more
constructive ways to excercise control over other players, most "Killers"
will take them, the minority that will use destructive/intrusive methods by
preference are "Griefers", just as the minority of Achievers that will
follow the mathematically ideal route to success with absolutely no
side-trips or socializing are "Powergamers".  The defining motivation of the
"Killer" type is not the desire to kill, it is the desire to excercise
*control* over players.

The desire to excercise that control will push him to organize his fellow
players because only once there is an organization can he set himself
securely at the head of it.  A KS or SK player is quite capable of
manipulating people into following him through eloquence and charm, an EK or
KE will probably try to discover exploits and gather a following to whom he
doles them out, an AK or KA will try to make the biggest guild on the
server, then find ways to dominate in whatever way is available (for
example, make sure his Guild kills all the dragons in EQ immediately after
every reset).  Until you stop thinking of Killer as synonymous with Griefer,
you cannot take advantage of his talents for getting the rest of the players
off their duffs.

For christ's sake, in spite of the stigma attached to Killers, the Bartle
Test shows them at 18% of the population, and I think that figure is *low*,
for the same reasons the Explorer count may be high.  If 18% of the gaming
population was Griefers, *none* of us would be able to keep a game
functioning, the tiny fraction (under 1%) that are genuine Griefers are bad
enough.

--Dave Rickey




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