[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Tue Jul 25 17:41:15 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

John Buehler wrote:
>   This is one of the most detestable posts I've ever read. 

Oh come now.  You are overdramatizing.  

> You're
> advocating treating your customers like idiots, manipulating them
> without any respect.  This may be 'practical', but it caters to a
> weak, manipulative admin whose lies will eventually be discovered
> and players will again be alienated.

Nope.  Remember the dictator _is_ benevolent.  
Running a psychotic tyranny (ala Lorry's wizards) that treats players 
as worms is definately not my cup of tea.  Neither is running a day 
care center mud that treats players like juveniles.  This is typical 
of mud admins that attempt to perform as either a sort of "happy" 
dysfunctional family or as a step-in-fetch-it player maid service.

Benevolent dictators don't need to lie.  Neither are they required
to be an open book.  You could say that civility is in itself a lie
and I would be hard pressed to argue that it is not at all levels. 

Perception is Reality.  The perception of 'high vesting' in players is
far more important than reality.  And real respect comes when you treat
individual players as equals.  Specifically, assume they are as clever
and devious as you are.  And never ever treat _groups_ as equals or as
"having a voice".  There is no need to weave complex webs of deceit when 
implementing the trappings of democracy over what is in reality an 
authoritarian system.  That the voting system is fraught with flaws is 
acknowledged.  Exploiting those flaws is fair game just like any "bug" 
in the system.

>   When you run a MUD or any other consumer-oriented service, you are
> responsible for treating your customers with respect.  

I bristle at the term "consumer-oriented service".  I'm creating shared
worlds with some like-minded people for the amusment of many other 
like-minded people.  The degree to which we are like-minded could
be expressed in a graph of our social sphere.  Those furthest points
from myself and the majority form the boundaries of our voluntary 
association.  Outside those boundaries lay the dispossessed[*].

[*] Thanks Brian(?) for adding that word to the lingo of Mud-Dev. 
I love it.  Has anyone read LeGuinn's 'The Dispossessed'? 

> It's a tough
> thing to do - especially when your customers don't treat YOU with
> respect - and not everyone can handle it.  The ones who can't
> should step down.

I've long been in the "players are NOT idiots" camp here.  
I think you should manipulate and influence your playerbase.  
It's a weak admin who manipulates and influences through fiat, threats
and brute force; a strong admin manipulates and influences through 
diplomacy both overt and covert, subtle and underhanded.  

There's a lot more to be said on the topic of how and why players treat 
administration the way they do.  And there's a lot that has already
been said.  Still there are far too few REAL social experiments going 
on.  This particular model has only been running for a few weeks.  

If you view players as customers, how will they come to view you?

--* Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD        Email:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com *--
--* Mud Server Developer's Page <http://tychomud.home.netcom.com> *--
--* If I had known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.*--

MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list