[MUD-Dev] Curtailing the 'Super-Rich Effect'

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Wed Apr 11 00:46:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Bob McFakenam posted on Monday, April 09, 2001 2:28 PM

> 1) I'm a realist and I like to see an /appearance/ of reality -
> although yeah, 'real' reality is impossible - in MUDs.

The problem, as I see it, is that MUDs are a little too accurate in
their representation of how players (ya know, people) handle money.
People are still people -- folks who are friends with rich people
benefit, just like newbies who know highbies benefit.  Were there an
administrator viewing the rich in action in real life, he or she would
probably downgrade them right quick.

> 2) Rich players tend to give good stuff away to new players.  It's
> nice to have help starting up, but then I /like/ the long, slow
> climb as opposed to the 'here's-some-plus-one-plate
> and-a-broadsword-don't-mention-it' approach.

We have this in real life too, it's called inheritance.  Family
members are given a distinct advantage through inheritance.  All very
"real" situations.

> On the other hand, there are few super-rich in RL, certainly fewer
> per capita than in MUDs. I would guess that the reason is simple
> enough: RL, it costs a lot to be rich.

My personal experience, having encountered more than one millionaire,
is that this is patently untrue.  If anything, that's a biased
perspective from folks who don't have money.  We like to think that
the rich are unhappy, hate their lives, and have to horde their gold
in fortresses.  The rich folks I know do none of these things.

The problem isn't necessarily that there are haves and have-nots.
It's the permanency of the exchange.  What problems do the rich have
that rich MUDders don't have?

Accountability.  Inheritors are often watched like hawks by their
parents/grandparents/etc. who want to make sure they "spend their
money right."  How many MUDders give money to their newbie friends and
then say, "I'm going to watch your evolution every step of the way,
how you act reflects on me, you better make me look good, I'll be
watching!"  It's very rare that kind of permanence is attached to
"Here buddy, here's a million gold pieces" -- but this is more the
fault of gold being disposable and characters being transient, than
the game lacking economic realism.  Just GIVING someone a million
dollars is not an easy thing to do (legally) in real life.

Likewise, taxation, political influence, etc.  These are all factors
that go into the "money is power" paradigm.  Too often, MUDs lack
those issues that make being rich more than owning a lot of money.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator

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