[MUD-Dev] Mudding and impact on academic grades

Tess Snider malkin at terpalum.umd.edu
Fri Jun 14 16:15:02 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?

When I was a game admin, we had a player who was house-bound and a
little nuts, and other players came to us, and told us that they
felt the game could be disturbing her emotional state, and that we
should probably lock her out.  We mulled over this for a while, and
came to the conclusion that we would be setting an extraordinarily
bad precedent to start staging interventions for troubled players.
As administrators, we can't even begin to try to be responsible for
the mental well being of hundreds of relatively anonymous people,
scattered across several countries.  More importantly, however, if
we even *try*, then people might *expect* us to, and we could be
faced with liability issues if somebody slips through the cracks.

It should be clear to your players at all times that they are there
by their own will, and at their own risk.  It should be clear that
they are responsible for their own fates.

That said, there's no harm in dropping little friendly reminders in
the MOTD, wishing your players good luck on their finals (as someone
else suggested).  Also, if players don't have their own rooms on
your MUSH, you can set up a high signal-to-noise ratio "Study Room,"
where people who are studying can idle, and can ask each other
questions, and get some last-minute help.  Alot of social MUSHers
feel isolated without at least a window cracked open to their social
space, but they don't necessarily need to idle in their usual noisy
rooms, where they may be enticed into a heated debate about the last
Buffy episode or their pal FritoJoe's latest LiveJournal entry.

I like Raph's study group idea, but it was usually very rare for me
to run into other people who were studying the same things I was at
the same time.  It does have potential, though.  I used to help
folks online with computer science problems, on an individual basis,
including a friend who was in grad school, and needed help muddling
through the problems he gave his students. ;)

Also, as many other people have suggested, allowing players to lock
themselves out for a set time is probably very reasonable, since it
keeps the power in their own hands.  I remember at least once when I
finished a programming project early because I couldn't reach my MUD
of choice, that night.

Tess Snider

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