[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Mon May 7 23:59:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Eli Stevens writes:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>

>> Kevin Littlejohn writes:

>> 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.

> Viewing animals as a "natural resource" and not as sentient life is
> a value judgement in and of itself.  The fact that the majority
> would agree with you doesn't make it _fact_, it just means that it
> is a common value stance to hold.

Yup.  Consensus never makes anything true in and of itself.

>>> 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.

> That's interesting - when I see grey, I am actually looking at
> little flecks of red, blue and green (don't believe me?  Lean in
> close, and take another look.  See? ;).  My point is simply that
> what you call "completely evil" is a value judgement on your part.
> While somewhat absurd, there will be some qualities that you think
> of as pure, unadulterated, blackest-pits-of-Hell evil that others
> will see as a shade of grey, and experience the very moral
> self-questioning that you were trying to avoid.  This is not really
> a problem, so long as the decision to endorse / condemn a specific
> set of values is made consciously.  Made unconsciously, it is a
> dogma (which I think of as generally bad - others may not...  ;).

Okay, so if some people have greys today and I present them as blacker
than black, then I'm presenting them with a new angle on things.  If I
really believe the things that I believe, it is worth my time to
present those views to others.  If I'm off-target or simply incapable
of presenting the ideas, I'll be ignored.  Hopefully, I won't ever
actually push anyone away from continuing to try to uncover a truth in
a certain area.

I spend a fair amount of time considering goods and evils.

> You seem intent on providing experiences that reinforce the values
> that you perceive as good.

I would assume that any game designer would present the values that
they consider as being good.  For many game designers, that simply
means diversity, or presenting the grey areas so that players will
learn in their own way.  I'm taking exception to those notions, not
believing that they are appropriate to an environment where children
are present.  Or even adults who haven't considered their values,
ethics and morals consciously.  They are still significantly
susceptible to being pulled this way or that.

> What happens when someone with differing values tries to have those
> experiences?  Will you try and convince them that their values are
> wrong, and need to be converted to yours?  Or will you try and
> provide experiences that reinforce their values, even though they
> are different from yours (different enough that you perceive them as
> wrong)?

I would not provide reinforcement for values that I thought were
unhealthy for them or for others.  I would assume that anyone with
conviction of views and caring for others would do the same.  As for
convincing them that their values are wrong, yes, I might try it if
the opportunity presented itself.  That is, if I was given the
opportunity to talk about values and such.  I keep an open mind and
try to learn from others just as I try to educate.


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