[MUD-Dev] Mudding and impact on academic grades

David Clifton demosthenes810 at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 12 23:43:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 Philip Mak wrote:

> Has anyone else thought about this? Any ideas on how to make a
> MUSH coexist more peacefully with its players' academic standing?

I ran into several problems likes this while running muds in the
past...in particular I remember the people who honestly asked be to
temporarily 'newt' (lock access for) them for periods of time. One
said that she was obsessive and wouldn't be able to do anything
while being able to access my mud, another that it would just in
general make them feel more at ease working and the like...

This always raised tough issues for me, especially when it came to
those who were honestly obsessive...the environment was a social
game as well, so what seemed to hold these people in were their
social connections.  Since we were on a small scale, I would often
intervene in the form of modifying those social
connections...speaking with those who were already aware of the
situation and conversed with the user, and asking them to encourage
a more appropriate view of the context of the game in the user's
life.

I don't know that there are any cut and dry answers to this, other
than that each situation always had to be dealt with on an
individual basis...perhaps someone out there might know where work
can be found on the psychological aspects of this kind of
topic. Certainly it is something the industry needs to take into
account, in order to insure it's continued viability.  Perhaps you
could try encouraging academic related conversation, since being a
social MUSH you have less to worry about as far as encroaching on
the environment? Or suggesting and taking requests to temporarily
remove students in such situations from the environment at their
request? Even making your concerns known publicly could greatly
help, as undoubtedly the admins are a strong social factor in the
system.

I might note, though, that in the end, it is the student spending
their time on the MUSH, not the MUSH intruding into the life of the
student.

David Clifton

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