[MUD-Dev] UO rants

Dave Rickey daver at mythicgames.com
Fri Aug 25 11:45:09 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


-----Original Message-----
From: Vincent Archer <archer at nevrax.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Friday, August 25, 2000 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] UO rants


>That's another difference between the two kind of games. You can play
>Quake and NOT be a part of any community. You can't play a MOG/MUD for
>any lenght of time and not be part of the community.
>
    Myself, I'd reverse that, if people don't become part of the community,
they won't play for any length of time, in general.

    One of the landmark works of sociology put forward and pretty vigorously
defended the theory that suicide rates are not directly linked to sexual
behavior, availability of weapons, or any of the obvious causes, but that
the actual common thread was the degree of alienation the culture engendered
in the would-be suicide.  People who were in dire straits but had a social
mechanism to fall back on didn't commit suicide, people who were seemingly
having normal lives but lacked any meaningful connection to the social
fabric commited suicide.  The correlation was pretty well proven.

    What wasn't proven was the conclusion of the piece: That social
alienation was actually the primary cause of suicide, that humans are by
nature social animals and seeing society go on around you without
interacting caused people to commit suicide.  Sociologists generally accept
that theory, psychologists mostly don't.

    What struck me reading about this was that "cancellation" really *is*
the virtual equivalent of suicide, as far as that particular game world
goes.  They display many equivalent behaviour profiles (giving away of
important personal possessions, veiled cries for help, "suicide by cop" in
the form of tracking down CS personnel and yelling obscene things at them
until you are banned).  If we can find better ways to bond the players to
the society in our games, they won't cancel.  Hey, it's a theory.  Raph
would probably point out this assumes that the entire society can't/won't
pick up stakes and transplant itself to another game.

--Dave Rickey




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