[MUD-Dev] Re: Black Snow Revisited

ghovs ghovs at plex.nl
Mon May 27 18:26:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Friday 29 March 2002 20:01, Matt Mihaly wrote:
> On Fri, 29 Mar 2002, ghovs wrote:

>> What if a game were to have people roaming around the real world
>> trying to find non-complying players? Isn't this a pretty
>> far-reaching method of ensuring the safety and stability of a
>> game?

> Some games do. We do, for instance. It is definitely
> far-reaching. Good for us. *pats himself on the back*

Oh, I won't deny it's hard work, nor that it results in a more civil
game.

>> For me, I'm just trying to see where the line is, what it is that
>> a company may own, after all the work is done, and ongoing. I'm
>> also wondering how much a MMORPG can set conditions for being in
>> the game. I highly doubt if a game is allowed to decide to ban
>> you because of what you do outside it. How would you feel if your
>> favorite bar would deny you entry because you have done something
>> they don't like outside it, while you do not, inside the bar, act
>> differently from any other patron?

> "After all the work is done." Since it's a service, the work is
> never done. Quite literally.

Yes, I meant to say that by tagging 'and ongoing' at the end of that
sentence. Sorry if I wasn't perfectly clear.

> And your favorite bar CAN kick you out for something you've done
> outside. In fact, they can kick you out for any reason at all,
> except for certain protected categories of reasons, such as race
> and gender.

Spying on people to check for their compliance to your rules is
beyond what you are entitled to do, at least in the Netherlands. I
do know that background checks are so normal to be almost completely
beneath even mentioning in the US, but over here, you can easily
have a company convicted for doing it without express permission
(and that is impossible to obtain in most cases, since people are
very much against giving it, here).

I'm sure there are other countries with similar constraints on
corporate liberty on this world, so in that light it might be very
advisable to not mention why you ban people as a policy, but that
still wouldn't really protect you from liability.

Hm, well, let's put it this way -- if your bar opposed you handing
beer to people after ordering it for yourself, but -only- if you got
paid for doing so outside the bar (and not setting any other
conditions to handing people beers), would they be entitled to
making sure, through some form of out-of-bar surveillance, you
weren't being paid for handing people beers?

Would you even be entitled to discover the names of people using a
trade board for just this heinous purpose, through monitoring the
board for realnames?

Over here, I don't expect you would be, although it'd be nigh
impossible to stop such an investigation, or even detect it.

>> While I do agree that professional farmers are a nuisance, you
>> need a firm legal basis to kick them out on, not just resentment
>> and a LART-wish. That, or simply reserve the right to kick out
>> anyone for any reason at all, which strikes me as user-hostile.

> They do reserve that right, I believe. It's not user-hostile
> either. It's disruptive-user-hostile.

So a bad law is only bad for criminals? I don't think it works like
that. All rules apply to all who (have to) agree to them, not just
the rotten apples among those. This is begging for mistakes which
then are never rectified, due to that excuse being what they all
say.

This is why most dues-paying members-only clubs have procedures to
appeal to suspension and expulsion.

> It's simple really: The users are endlessly inventive at coming up
> with asinine behavior patterns. You're never going to be able to
> strictly define all behavior that you want banned, because you're
> in the business of making games, not writing expansive legal
> codes.

Maybe, maybe not. What if you defined it as 'disruptive conduct
which significantly diminishes entertainment value of the product' ? 
A simple vote from a (semi?)representative group could clear up if
it is disruptive or not.

> I'm not going to let someone get away with some outrageous
> harrassment of one of my good users just because he found a
> loophole in some legalistic rules. As our PK rule #10 states: The
> Admins are not stupid, and attempts to find 'loopholes' in the
> rules will not work.

Ofcourse, you should never try to name specific misdeeds. That's not
very effective, since you simply don't know all of them. But the way
it's set up now, is that it is all decided at your sole discretion,
with no notification, and no appeal procedure (not any -mandatory-
ones, don't know if you or Mythic or whoever do it anyway). That
doesn't sound like you're willing to take a stand for your every
decision, regardless of if you actually are willing to or not.

You -can-, however, describe the negative impact you are trying to
avoid pretty accurately, so you could define that instead of leaving
all your actions unjustified. It doesn't seem to hinder what is
normally done to keep a game clean, to specify how you keep it
clean.

And I really hope you don't believe in security through obscurity,
although that's a flamewar for another mailing list :)

>> So, the intent to perform an action inside the space of someone
>> else, which is -not- an action uncommon to that space (this
>> obviously does not count for character transfers), in exchange
>> for money which does not change hands inside that space, that
>> intent is a legal basis for that someone to forbid that action in
>> their space?

> It's legal to have sex. It's illegal for money to change hands for
> that sex. It's legal for you to volunteer for me. It's illegal for
> you to volunteer for me and for me to pay you $3/day in
> return. Those are just analogies of course, but my point is that
> there are legal distinctions made sometimes, based on whether or
> not money changes hands.

You're talking to the wrong man -- I live in a country where those
negotiable affection providers even have a union :) I'm not sure
that such distinctions exist in dutch law. Ofcourse, IANAL, so I
don't know if there might be some dutch law to spite me after all.

My whole point is, that it isn't quite decent to assume your right
to watch your players even outside your game. Yes it's your turf,
yes you can refuse entry to anyone, no you can't follow people
around and check if they're being good little players.


rgds,
ghovs
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