[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

John Buehler johnbue at email.msn.com
Tue Jul 25 23:53:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Jon A. Lambert
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 5:41 PM

>John Buehler wrote:
>>   This is one of the most detestable posts I've ever read. 
>Oh come now.  You are overdramatizing.  

  Nope.  I thought it was actually detestable.  It lies at the
heart of what I consider to be a major societal problem: thinking
of those around us as inferior.  Disrespect is a result.

>Nope.  Remember the dictator _is_ benevolent.  


>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. 

  Sure, and I'm a believer in managing interactions with other
people so that they are positive interactions.  When I see the
word 'manipulate', I hear 'Machiavelli' and I react with the word

>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.

  [chuckles]  And if I'm not clever or devious?  Intentionally so?

  Well, not intentionally DEVIOUS anyway  :)

  I certainly agree with the attitude of treating individual players
as equals.  Manipulation, again, doesn't seem to match that attitude.
Perhaps you see manipulation and counter-manipulation as a natural
means of interacting among equals.  I do not.

>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[*].

  I understand this point and I agree with it.  I think all designers
and developers are interested in having like-minded people join in
with them to enjoy the experience that they have crafted.  I'm
thinking more in terms of fee-based MUDs for much of my ranting.
However, even if you are dealing with 'the dispossessed' the
responsibility of treating them with respect still stands firm.

>I've long been in the "players are NOT idiots" camp here.

  I'm glad to hear that.
>I think you should manipulate and influence your playerbase.

  Oof.  Well, in light of what you've said, perhaps I'm simply
misinterpreting what you mean by 'manipulate' and 'influence'.  If
you ask the man on the street if a manager manipulating and
influencing his direct reports was good or not, I suspect you'd
get more 'not' replies than 'good'.
>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.  

  It sound like there's a difference of degree here.  I would
say that interactions with the player base should simply be done
with an attitude of respect, fairness and all those other goodness
and light things that are symptomatic of the weak - but using all
the brains and skills that you have in your arsenal to do so.  The
examples presented in a prior post of letting people believe things
that are absolutely false is not an example of what I would consider
a healthy and useful way to interact with a player base.

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

  [grin]  That has been asked of me by others in private email.  My
reply is that I view customers as very good things.  They are people
who are coming to me for something that I provide.  They can be
pretty much friends, but the barrier of money for services rendered
and goods conveyed ensures that things remain at a vendor/customer
level.  Objectivity is retained and the role of admin is kept intact,
avoiding the phenomenon of the admin becoming a player and getting
quagmired in the soap opera that emerges from any social system.


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