[MUD-Dev] Death of a game addict

Marc Bowden ryumo at merit.edu
Wed Apr 3 08:53:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 2002

--On Tuesday, April 2, 2002 6:33 PM -0500 Michael Tresca 
<talien at toast.net> wrote:

> Ever encounter one of these folks?  We have.  And we've tried,
> whenever possible, to cut them off early -- from players who ask
> to be banished for "their own safety" to coders who indicate such
> mental instability that we force them to retire.

Oh, and do they ever whine about it.

Dreamshadow reserves the right to disconnect kids who are playing
from the k12.xx.us domain during school hours - part of this is
social responsibility on our part, part of it the premature evasion
of lawsuits by irate parents who blame us for their son failing a
class somewhere and failing to become the Future of America. But the
motivation is unimportant...

Actually do it, and they *whine*.

Oh, and not just them. Every yahoo with an axe to grind. Every
smarmy bastard to whom a child being subjected to even the remotest
hint of an adult acting like an adult is a clarion call. And then
the parents. Oh God, the parents.

I've fielded many, many complaint calls over the years and the irate
parents are hysterical. Like the sobbing mother they invariably
shove on TV screaming "That ain't my boy! My boy is a good boy!" 
after her angel has gunned down his homeroom class because a teacher
dared to tell him he could smoke his stash there, they decend in
righteous fury to Damien or Brattley's defense. Because, no matter
what they've done, by God, they're MY kids and they deserve whatever
their little black hearts desire.

This is the impetus behind the advice I give kids who want to
administrate a MUD: don't.

As an administrator of an on-line game, you can't do anything right.
Face it.  If you try to defend yourself against cheating, predators,
or curb Mother's Little Darlings Who Can't Deal With Life, someone
will sue you.  If the constant threat of lawsuits makes you and your
superiors nervous, and you decide to back off, someone will sue you.

Take up pottery. There's less danger of killing yourself by
repeatedly beating your head against a wall, desk, or user.

> But far more worrisome in the article is:

>   I've seen a lot of wreckage because of EverQuest," Parker
>   said. "But they are all the same. It's like cigarettes. They
>   need to come with a warning label. 'Warning, extensive playing
>   could be hazardous to your health.'

>   Warning labels are exactly what Jack Thompson, a Miami attorney
>   and vocal critic of the entertainment industry, wants to result
>   from a lawsuit he plans to file against Sony Online
>   Entertainment for Elizabeth Woolley."

> I could easily see a minimum age requirement due to the likely
> contact with adults and adult material for games.  But a warning
> that doing something to excess is bad for your health?
> Puhleeeaze!

That'd be like having to warn people that their coffee is hot. Or
that using a hair dryer in the shower might be a smidge
unconfortable. Americans are stable, educated, sensible people and
I'm sure common sense will prevail.*

Marc Bowden / Soulsinger
Dreamshadow: The Legacy of the Three

*If you cannot detect the bitter sarcasm in this sentence, run, do
not walk, to the nearest egress. Go through it to that big room with
the really high, blue ceiling and stare into the bright yellow dot
until you feel better.
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