[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Greg Munt greg.munt at btinternet.com
Sun May 6 17:42:58 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: 06 May 2001 5:26 PM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

> While I completely agree that goblins should be defending their
> homes or actively trying to push away competing populations, I
> disagree about the whole empathy thing.  I believe that things that
> we kill must either be non-sentient or they must be inherently and
> immutably evil.  That means that they are not misguided beings just
> doing their thing and that works out to be something that the player
> characters don't like.  It means that they are soulless beings that
> exist in order to destroy that which is good.

> Why do this?  Because players should not be encouraged to kill
> things that they are also encouraged to empathize with.  It's a
> recipe for disaster.  Sure, it should produce some significant
> emotional reactions as one group of players sides with the goblins,
> but those aren't the sorts of emotions that I think we want in
> gameplay.

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?

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.

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