[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Brad Triem triem at sierranv.net
Tue May 8 22:23:07 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Paul Schwanz wrote:
> Brad Triem wrote:

>> I was a kid once...I think so anyway, less I was spawned in some
>> atypical fashion.  But if my memory serves me correctly, I grew up
>> with the same thoughtless slaughter(hack n slash) games that
>> everyone else did.  It's an electronic game.  In most likelyhood I
>> am killing things that are merely only in my imagination and not
>> something I can even relate to being real.  It hasn't affected my
>> psych in a negative way.  Do games really have that much affect on
>> our children?

> I think that the level of abstraction is very important here.  Yes,
> these are just electronic games, but we are always looking for ways
> to make them more real and immersive.  When we talk about being able
> to "empathize" with what we are killing, we are discussing exactly
> how to help players "relate [what they are killing] to being real."

> As an extreme example, if we had the technology to actually tap into
> a brain so that a player could experience all the sensations of a
> virtual world as if it were reality, should we allow someone to
> roleplay Hannibal Lechter in that world?  To feel what it is like to
> hold a knife and stab someone?  To even taste (yeach!) human flesh?
> (Maybe we'd also then let them feel what it is like to die in an
> electric chair?)

> Out one side of our mouth, we talk about all the things we are doing
> to make our experience seem more real to our users.  Out the other
> side, we are quick to say these are just games so we are free of any
> sort of moral constraints or obligations.  Can we really have it
> both ways?

> Dibbell writes in "A Rape in Cyberspace:"

<snip story>

* the below is my opinion and not an accusation of another's point of
* thought *

We aren't in "Strange World" yet.  You are at the helm.  To think that
you are online and someone is "typing" to you, and considering it as
rape is absurd, in my opinion.  You could easily turn off your monitor
if what you are seeing someone else type doesn't agree with you.  It
isn't like someone is standing in front of you with a death grip on
you with rape in their eyes.  It is the same as those who drive by an
adult book store and bitch about the fact that it is there, as opposed
to those who "choose" to enter it.  Allowing yourself into a situation
is much different than being forced into a situation.

This will hold true until we are so deep in the virtual world that a
virtual hacker could actually tap into your brain neurons and prevent
your muscles from reacting to the "thought" of removing yourself from
a virtual situation.  Hrm, or even tapping into your brain and
preventing the defensive thought from originating.  Do you think that
one day you would be able to hack into someone's thoughts and make
them think they are enjoying themselves?  Disturbing...very
disturbing.  Or..heck, perhaps it would be liberating...a relief that
you wouldn't have stress about a situation that, on the normal, would
bring you to tears.

I don't want to get way off track from the point.  I have gone back
and forth for what I would want to present as a game.  I don't believe
I or others have intent to corrupt other peoples minds.  Perhaps the
correct way to deal with this is to rate and enforce games as you do
movies.  If a $6 an hour employee at the movie theatre can ask for
your ID for a specific movie, an employee at Best Buy can do the same
for the game you wish to purchase.  If your game is free and it can be
related to realism (I.E. you run around with guns killing with
hatred[as opposed to say...defensively or with sport]) then I agree
that I would not want my child playing it until I was certain of their
moral base.  If it is full of fictional Goblins and Orcs with swords
and magic, then I am confident that my children can relate fantasy
against realism.

Besides all the hub-bub of a moralist view, if I develop a game, the
game is something I would wish to play.  The creation is that of an
artist.  It may be a nude game or a conservative game.  But the focus
is in the art of the game, not the opinion of the game.  It isn't
created to uplift some deep seeded evil amongst children or adults.
It is evolved as a creative output.  If the art is offensive to you, I
apologize but I will make no excuse for it's existence.  The art is
available for anyone to view and enjoy and up to the illation of the
adults to which a child may or may not be able to view.


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