[MUD-Dev] TECH: Flash Crowds and overflow control

Gavin Doughtie gavin at idealab.com
Wed Apr 11 18:13:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Mon 4/9/2001 10:38 PM, Colin Coghill wrote:

> You still have to watch out for the flash-flood effect. A major
> event in one realm (a wedding, a bug giving out free stuff, etc) can
> change that to 9900 users on one world and 100 across the other
> nine.

Larry Niven once wrote a short story called "Flash Crowd" about how a
roving reporter's newscast of a disagreement in a shopping mall leads
to an instantaneous, sudden riot. Of course, in his future,
teleportation booths are the norm and folks from all over come down to
watch the riot, making it much much worse.

The story then explores means of control for such sudden events, and
the powers that be ultimately construct huge "flash crowd" holding
cells for people attempting to teleport into scenes of chaos. Perhaps
there are useful metaphors that others can find in this story -- AC,
for example, has the "Portal Storm" concept.


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