[MUD-Dev] Re:Blacksnow revisited

Norman Short wjshort at wworld.com
Thu Apr 11 07:45:13 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

After my admittedly strident and "obstreperous" (good word!) initial
post about this topic I've listened with interest to the many posts
that have followed.  The more I hear, the less interested I became
in playing the games you guys would presumably like me and lots of
others like me to play.  And I don't even care about or want to sell
my account or trade items for cash.  I'm actually one of the people
with enough time on his hands to succeed in a game that rewards only
people using vast amounts of time.  Why you guys think rewarding
college kids perpetually skipping class over adults working a job
and raising a family is a choice I'm not sure you've explored fully.
Seems to me supporting people without 16 hours a day to devote to
your game but who are emotionally and psychologically stable adults
would be in your interest.  Instead your community will be led by
people with the most time.

That isn't the reason I see this as a devolving game genre in
holding my interest, however.  It's what I see as you folks and your
attitude about ownership and EULA's.  So you want me to understand
at all times that you own my character, my account, and every item
in my inventory.  Well, doesn't sound like the word "my" applies at
all anymore.  I know a place where I could spend lots of time doing
things for someone else to fully own.  It's called "work".  If all I
am in the end is a gerbil on a treadmill turning the wheel to get
items that I have no sense of ownership at all over, what's the
point?  I don't even get paid like I do at work, but the difference
between working for someone else and playing one of these games is
getting pretty damn narrow.  Now I'm doing a repetitive task to get
something you own completely, and can generate at will anytime you
want.  Whether you just spawn the item with a mouse click or I spend
8 hours trying to acquire it, in both cases we have something
without any real value to you (you can spawn it or destroy it at
will) but you insist is fully yours and not mine at all.  Those
houses I built in UO?  Just rented I guess.  Why was I interested in
spending the many hours to get the wealth to build them again?  I
feel like all I'm doing is working for you now and paying for the

Somehow you're going to have to lie to me and let me pretend I have
some sense of ownership over what I acquire with my time in game,
when in reality you don't want me to have any ownership at all.
When you speak honestly about that desire, you leave little left for
me to enjoy in your game, since I know that I'm just hitting a lever
for a pellet, and you own the pellet, the wheel, and even "me" as it
exists in game.  Maybe it's legal (maybe), but it sure aint fun.

Norman Short

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