[MUD-Dev] Re:Blacksnow revisited

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Tue Apr 23 17:29:23 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Sun, 21 Apr 2002, Norman Short wrote:

> Actually I own a chess set and nobody can take it away from me.
> When I play a game of chess, it's *me* playing and I own myself.
> This thread has turned that on its ear and tells me *I'm* not
> playing at all; only a corporate owned entity they let me drive
> around.

I don't recall anyone saying that. You are playing the MUD. Who has
claimed that you, the player, aren't playing?

>  Not nearly so much fun in my book.  They tell me I can work to
>  afford something, say a chess set, and I can buy it.  I can give
>  it away to my friend as a birthday present.  But now I know that
>  the chess set isn't mine, the money I saved to buy it isn't mine,
>  and I didn't buy it at all, only did what my corporate masters
>  allowed me to do and hold it for awhile.  In that sense the
>  argument becomes merely a legal one that doesn't take into
>  account what makes sense at all.  Common sense tells me I bought
>  that chess set and it's mine.  Now I know that it isn't mine,
>  that even *I'm* not mine.

That's right. Similarly, if you use someone else's service, such as
AOL, common sense tells you that you don't own any of it, regardless
of how long you've used it for.

> Persistance changes everything.  Most games take minutes to hours
> to days to complete.  I don't develop a sense of self or ownership
> in the Pac-Man icon.  Over months and years you're damned right I
> take on a sense of self and ownership in the MMO game.  The game
> takes years and never truly completes.  I'm willing to play
> Pac-Man and accept that the icon isn't me and I don't own the game
> (although I could buy the arcade console and then I do own it).
> I'm not willing to play a character for years and accept that I
> don't have any sense of ownership at all.

The fact that you develop a sense of self or ownership is your
problem though, and in no way does the mere existence of feelings on
your part create ownership.

Further, what exactly do you think you own? The character? Ok,
here's a print-out of the character data. Do you think you have some
inalienable right to manipulate data on MY server, using MY
bandwidth in perpetuity? That is patently ridiculous.

> This one made me laugh.  Take away owning things and EQ just
> became a chat room.  All those EQ players spending hundreds of
> hours camping to get an epic weapon and they just have the wrong
> attitude.  The games themselves encourage the idea of ownership
> and acquisition, then you turn the game on its ear and tell them
> they don't own anything, not even themselves.  It's the journey,
> not the destination you are telling me.  I'm just saying that as
> presented the journey became a lot more unsatisfying.

When did this become a debate about self-ownership? No one here ever
claimed that you don't own yourself. Do you own the dataset that is
labeled a character? No, but then, that's not even remotely 'you'.
 
> again in one of these games.  I didn't do anything, except for
> manipulate stuff that someone else has complete and utter control
> over.

*shrug* That's been the case since MUD I.

> You corporate devs have been disingenuous in making us believe we
> were building anything or acquiring anything.  To the extent that
> it is the devs fault for giving me these false expectations, I'm
> angry.  Frankly I hope you guys do lose in court and it turns out
> players have some rights.  I'm not holding my breath.  I expect
> that things will stay largely as they are and I will continue to
> feel cheated and feel that you guys are going to do things the way
> you always have.  Congratulations, you've turned an avid player
> into someone who doesn't want what you're selling anymore.

Well, you are building someting. You just don't own what you
built. Someone used an analogy earlier, where one goes into
LegoWorld, spends days or weeks or months there building this
incredibly intricate Lego castle. Does that mean you own the castle? 
No, of course not. Does that mean you didn't build anything? No, of
course not. Does that mean it wasn't enjoyable? No, of course not.

Further, what exactly do you want to do with these items you wish to
own that you can't do now? You've stated you don't care about
selling them for physical world currency, so what is it that we evil
dev guys are depriving you of? I personally think you're making a
big to-do about a non-issue.

--matt

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