[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Kevin Littlejohn darius at bofh.net.au
Wed May 9 14:02:56 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

"John Buehler" wrote

> You seem to be assuming that I'm after happy-happy-la-la land.  This
> is all about a question of degree.  Some people are not prepared to
> deal with certain moral dilemmas.  The dilemmas that children below
> the age of about 18 are not typically prepared to handle, I would
> attempt to avoid.

But the judgement calls in that are huge - is a child under the age of
18 prepared to face the "what should I kill" judgement call?  No?
Then why do you present them with it, every time they eat?  You choose
the dilemmas, you choose the "good" answer, you don't give any space
for people to work things out themselves.

I contend you're just doing exactly the same thing everyone else is
doing - building a world that encourages what you think is good.  As
such, it's fairly uninteresting - not because you're not presenting
combat, but because there's nothing more behind it than is behind
every other game, or every movie Disney put out - "let's reward good
and punish evil", with whatever definition of good and evil you care
to apply.  This is no different to any other mud out there, including
EQ - just you choose to wrap it up in more language to try and portray
your version of good as being something different (it's not, btw -
there's a reason that UO doesn't have certain models in the game, or
Verant boot players who write particular types of fan fiction, and so
forth - the same reasons you apply for stripping stuff back).  The
approach is dogmatic, because there's no space for players to question
your morals, or for you to demonstrate why you think solution x is the
"good" solution.

Me, I'm looking for a world that encourages choice, and responds to my
actions - and if I had kids, I'd strongly encourage them to play such
a game.  Hell, my SO is the one who pointed out to her niece that the
poor daemons in Doom were happily minding their own business until she
came along and started bothering them - a much healthier attitude to
take than "they're just bad, kill them", IMNSHO.  Even better (in a
mud setup) would be if you had a choice on whether to kill them or
not, or could pick to be their friends instead - a choice you take
away by simply labelling them "evil".

By introducing animals-as-food, you strengthen the broad perception
that animals are nothing more than a resource, to be talked about in
per-unit terms.  By introducing creatures that are "evil" and
killable, you strengthen the same tendencies that are used for
propaganda purposes - turning the enemy into something "not human",
rather than encouraging sympathy with the enemy, which might lead to
something else.

I find your idea of presenting only black and white to children
abhorrent, in summary - I'd much rather kids learn that nothing is
ever simple and straightforward as early as possible, so we don't get
a population that can be turned against "others" so easily.  But then
I credit the majority of the population with being able to work things
out, if given the tools - and yes, that includes kids.  Taking away
all the choices is not the best way to deal with this stuff - working
hard to present the consequences of the choices well, IMNSHO, is.

Internet techie                    Obsidian Consulting Group
Specialising in proxy servers and traffic measuring/billing.
http://www.obsidian.com.au/           darius at obsidian.com.au

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