[MUD-Dev] Reality check ...

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Wed Apr 17 14:28:06 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Dave Rickey writes:
> From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>

>> I don't believe any court is going to consider the fictional
>> context of games. And the virtual 'sword' is just a collection of
>> data.

> Your bank account is just a "collection of data".  Therein lies
> the problrem.

Bank data and game data are both documents.  Bank data documents
obligations of debt, while game data documents obligations of
service.  That obligation of service is from game company to player.
A virtual sword is data that obligates the game company to permit
the player to alter other data in a specific way (e.g. delete an
instance of a monster), and to see a graphical rendition of what
appears to be a real sword being employed.

My greatest point of contention is the fact that so many people are
thrown off by the fact that these games attempt to depict reality.
That doesn't make what happens in the game world real.  The only
reality that we have is the one that we really live in.  All other
notions of reality must be understood relative to that context.  As
a result, a virtual sword is just data that documents a service
provided from one real person or persons to another real person or
persons.  That service simulates reality, which is part of the
appeal.  But confusing ourselves over the reality of the sword is
not helping things.


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