[MUD-Dev] Who Killed Miss Norway?

Tess Snider malkin at terpalum.umd.edu
Wed May 7 12:06:25 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

On Fri, 2 May 2003, Gubbs wrote:

> Does anyone have this opinion or experience? I'm quite interested
> to know if people think it is suitable to allow the real world to
> encroach in these ways or if making 'friends' are more important.

I was about to write some impassioned piece about all this, and then
I re-read what you said, and realized that you weren't asking the
question that I thought you were.

You are, to my understanding, asking whether real life events should
encroach upon the fiction and play of a strictly roleplaying world.
Most non-roleplayers will think you're nuts to ask such a question,
I reckon.  Coming from an RP MUSH background, I think I can probably
address it.

If you're going to be a strict purist about things, it may seem
horrible for real life events to leak into the game (just as it's
annoying when real life loves and hatreds leak in), though some
amount of this is inevitable, I think.  Real life events and
anxieties leak into fictional books, movies, and television shows
all the time -- if only on a distant, purely metaphorical level.  It
is one way (albeit cheap, in some cases) that authors can create
weight, currency, and relevance in their work.  Is the fiction of
your game more pure than these fictions?  Not really.

While they may not realize it, a lot of players roleplay to work out
their own lives, and their own issues.  They're learning, in a
sense.  They are trying to cope.  It helps for them to have channels
within the game to test their feelings, and mourn, if necessary.  As
a plot coordinator, perhaps the best thing you can do is create a
metaphor which makes sense within the context of your fiction, for
them to channel their difficult emotions through.  If you do not do
that for them, they may do it themselves, and to a degree, one
should be understanding.  Quod est inferius est sicut quod est
superius.  As below, so above.  Art imitates life.

I think that one of our players put it best: "That's WHY we make
myths...  to understand ourselves.  We paint pictures, we build
monuments, we change the outside, to change or see into what we


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