[MUD-Dev] Historic lessons on fluid identity

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Oct 10 07:57:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Thu, 4 Oct 2001, Jon Lambert wrote:
> Marian Griffith wrote:
>> I was simply responding to an often heard statement on this list
>> about grief players and how the lack of fixed identity made it
>> impossible to stop them from being virtual sociopaths.
> I don't think I've commented on this before, not directly as least.
> I think the statement is just plain false!  :-)
> Ex. I've had several grief players where I had known their real
> names, addresses, service providers and in one case their
> telephone number.  None of that stopped them from being virtual
> sociopaths.  What possible use is that information?  Knowing it
> and them knowing I knew it in no way inhibited their grief play.
> In fact they still show up every few months or so in the guise of
> a new character under a new account.

Well, I think that anonymity partly correlates with physical
proximity. However, knowing someone's real name, address, service
provider, etc can indeed help. For instance, once I know someone's
identity (and most of our grief players are somewhat less than
super-clever teenagers), I can take legal action. I've dealt with
the FBI, Secret Service, and police so far in my dealings with grief
players. (My general policy is to be as aggressive as possible with
anyone who steps over what I view as the line.) Now, those are not
your average grief case, granted, but to imply that the information
is of no possible use is fallacious.

> One wonders how frequent sociopathic behavior is between those
> players which are proximate, like in a internet cafe or in a
> college lab; assuming they are aware of each other?
> (*) My use of sociopath is not clinical one.  In fact I'd exclude
> clinical sociopaths (aka "nut cases").

Actually, the MUD with the single biggest grief players I've ever
been on (I'll keep it nameless) was one in which most of the major
players knew each other personally. All of us knowing each other led
to ridiculous levels of rivalry and competition. People were doing
things like sleeping with each others physical world girlfriends to
take revenge, etc. Maybe it's not grief play if the administration
encourages it?


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