[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Sun May 6 14:07:53 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Sun, 6 May 2001, Greg Munt wrote:

> Why not? Why should it be black and white? Why shouldn't everything be
> grey?  There is too much emphasis on killing in muds - almost as if
> the ending of another life is acceptable.. That the life of other
> beings has no meaning. I don't see that sort of morality as
> something that should be encouraged. This raises another point: do
> we, as mud developers, have a responsibility for the morality
> suggested by our games? Should we be or feel responsible if this
> sort of negative morality is taken on board by our players? Should
> we encourage a certain morality, or leave it up to the players?

I fail to see anything immoral about "killing" things in a game. And
frankly, as I do not consider mobiles in games to have "life" or be a
"being" I'm not sure why it wouldn't be acceptable. I must say, the
definition for life has fallen awfully far if Achaea's stupid-as-heck
mobs count as life.

I think you also need to consider that when you say "this sort of
negative morality" you're speaking from YOUR moral system, which is
not shared by everyone else and is no more or less valid than anyone
else's.

Personally, I don't care if it does, because I don't feel responsible
for another person's actions. So, to answer your questions for myself,

1) I certainly do not feel responsible for any action people take that
I do not force them to take. And as I do not force anyone to do
anything, I don't feel responsible for anyone else's actions.

 
> There has been talk on this list, in the past, about how players
> completely screw up a well-designed ecology, by decimating it. Would
> the triggering of emotional responses be a good way to combat this? 
> It also makes me compare this situation with how the germans were
> portrayed by WWII propaganda. We make them evil. It makes them
> easier and/or 'acceptable' to commit mass genocide against
> them. Along with the moral objections to this, it makes them flat,
> characterless, two-dimensional. It reduces the possibilities for
> immersion into the world, and it sharply reduces a player's
> suspension of disbelief.

That's going to be very tough I have to say. It'd be interesting if an
ecology could be preserved out of the same motivations that cause
groups like the Sierra Club to form. I don't see that happening
though, at least not from the same motivations. People in a virtual
world know that the entire ecology could easily be replicated exactly
as it was in the pristine state that people in Virtual Sierra Club
long for. "Ruining" a virtual ecology just isn't a big deal in the
same way that ruining a physical world ecology is. Very easy to
replace a virtual ecology. Almost impossible to do with a physical
ecology.

--matt

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