[MUD-Dev] Re: Black Snow Revisited

Dan Merillat harik at chaos.ao.net
Wed Apr 3 23:32:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2002


"Derek Licciardi" writes:

> Norman, please do yourself a favor and look at how much these
> services cost to bring them to the masses we are trying to
> "stunt".  Think about how your view on this topic might change if
> you were the one forking over the 5 - 15,000,000 $US it takes to
> get these off the ground.  Think about how you would feel if
> everyone took your Star Wars idea and used it to make profit
> without your consent.  What if in doing so they trashed your
> franchise in the eyes of consumers?  If Blacksnow is allowed to
> succeed, there isn't an investor on the planet that will fund an
> MMORPG in the foreseeable future.  A genre of gaming will die for
> many years and suffer a HUGE setback.  I would reconsider your
> position if I were you because you could find yourself with no
> game to play if we truly are full of ourselves.

Legal and moral issues aside, item/character auctions have not
caused the big games to lose income.  They may have added somewhat
to the support load, but I doubt how significant an effect it has
had.

Yes, people whine when they pay money for something and it's not
turned over.  People also whine when they get lag-killed, the server
crashes and rolls them back, their corpse is irretrievable, or any
number of other things go wrong.

What's really going on is beancounters seeing someone else making
money and thinking it should be theirs.  For instance, I run a
website and it's paid subscription.  Nobody but me is allowed to
sell access to this website.  My accounting department then sues AOL
for charging their users a fee to visit my website!

The problem is the money changing hands is really unrelated to what
I'm doing.  Despite the fact we're dealing in the same medium
(internet access) they are seperate things.  And no, the internet
isn't some magical public space, it's 99% owned by Sprint, UUnet and
a handful of large international telcoms.

Realistically, I can't see a clause of this type standing up in
court, as it's completely outside the scope of the contract.  You're
not legally allowed to specify weather or not your customer is
allowed to talk to black people outside your game, you're not
allowed to specify their sexual preference, and I doubt the courts
will find that you're allowed to control someone's buisness practice
outside the scope of your game.

Practically, I can't see the point in trying to restrict this type
of activity.  At some point, people twink friends on one game in
return for the same on another.  There will always be
outside-of-game influences, and any attempt to stop them will just
cost money (and player resentment)

--Dan

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