[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Mon May 7 15:10:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Kevin Littlejohn writes:
> "John Buehler" wrote

>> As you say there is too much emphasis on killing.  I'm working on a
>> game that is going to emphasize socialization, exploration and
>> crafting.  If I work in conflict, it will begin muted and we'll go
>> from there.

> [snip]

>> A good example of why I don't want any race that we hunt to be
>> anything other than truly, defineably, evil.  They do not possess
>> redeeming qualities.  This is true in fact, not simply in the
>> perceptions of their enemies.

> Are you allowing the hunting and killing of animals?  There's an
> established cultural phenomenon that may or may not be correct, that
> says that certain animals are fair game (cows, deer, etc), and
> others are not (cats, dogs, humans).  There's a hell of a value
> judgement hiding behind that - especially given animals did nothing
> particularly _evil_ to get classed as huntable.

Well, if we're going to get into value judgements about animals, they
are to be hunted for practical reasons of survival and such.
Gratuitous killing of animals falls into the Bad Thing category.
Rewarding players for killing everything in sight in order to gain
experience is an example of gratuitous killing.  Killing an animal
should be done for what the animal can provide to you that you need.
Meat, hides, bones, claws, organs, tendons, whatever.

As technology improves, what we need from animals is dropping quickly.
Obviously, many today claim that we don't need to take anything from
animals any longer.

> So if you want huntable things to be evil, are you excluding hunting
> animals, or are you furthering the accepted western practice of
> victimising certain creatures for arbitrary reasons?

As I said, I want to avoid the case where a being that can consciously
choose between good and evil actions is a sanctioned combat target.
My definition of an evil character is one that cannot choose between
good and evil.  It is only capable of choosing evil.  At the
metaphysical level, this is an issue of intent.  An orc may put an
arrow into a man, thereby saving the town that the man was going to
destroy.  But the orc's intent was to kill.

> Note, I'm drawing the line there - there is a body of thought
> (Fruitarian) that says that you can survive without killing anything
> - you live off the fruit and incidental produce of other creatures
> and plants, rather than actually causing the death of anything.
> Obviously, that's somewhat harder to represent in a mud, and
> somewhat less frequent in real life than veganism or vegetarianism.

I'm concerned with the issues of respecting sentient life first, and
of responsibly husbanding the animal and other natural resources of
the environment second.  The 'sentient' comment gets interesting
because for a game world, I'm introducing the idea of completely evil
races - where such a thing doesn't exist in the real world.

> There's shades of grey hiding in the brightest places...

Something else I disagree with.  If you see grey, you're not looking
closely enough.  Grey is made up of little flecks of black and white.
Sometimes you have to take a mixed set as a package deal, but knowing
which is which is very important.


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