[MUD-Dev] Size of player-organizations

Adam ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 27 16:22:42 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com> wrote: 
> Dave Rickey writes:

>> Just as an example: A year or so ago I made the statement that I
>> had never seen cohesive player organization beyond the 150 player
>> range.  I can no longer say that, the last couple of months have
>> seen the emergence of cohesive player guilds in Camelot exceeding
>> 400 members (discrete accounts, not characters).

> That said, corporations in America can grow well over 100,000
> people.  Is that 'cohesive'?  During World War II, armies that
> fought for a single purpose were millions strong. Is that
> 'cohesive'?  I would offer that cohesion is something that can
> remain strong up to the 100-200 individual range, but after that
> the personal relationship means of keeping things organized starts
> to erode.

Or according to one mgmt theory, "the rule of sevens": each person
can manage close (friend or working)relationships with approx 7
people. Hence, organizations get crunch points at memberships of
approx 7, 50, 350, ...

>From personal experience, I've met and known a couple of people
running 100+ employee companies who seem to be doing very well at it
- up until about 220+ employees, where the cracks start to appear. I
think I subscribe to a rule of sixes instead :) = 6, 35, 210.

Certainly I don't know well anyone running next order of magnitude
(1000-person) organizations, but it seems from what I've seen that
each order (6, 35, 200) mainly requires a different approach to
social interaction - whether for management purposes, or purely for
fun. I would not rule out the possibility that your "cohesion" is
not possible in the 300-1000 range, but that it perhaps requires a
particularly rarely-seen approach to socializing?

Perhaps an element of natural-selection here - when a MUD has
sufficient players of sufficiently varied temperaments, sooner or
later groups spring up with the right kind of social system such
that they flourish at a particular size of membership.  Obviously,
MUDs somewhat redefine the rules by having organizations that can
survive 30% churn-rates, since members can instantaneously join /
leave to keep the group alive.

Adam M

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