[MUD-Dev] Character Restraint & Capture.

Tess Snider malkin at terpalum.umd.edu
Mon Mar 8 19:23:39 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

On Sun, 7 Mar 2004, Damion Schubert wrote:

> True 'crimes' are social disruptions, such as mudrape, slander,
> betrayal, infiltrating a guild with an alternate character, etc,
> etc.  Murder only really joins the list when people kill other
> people multiple times in a row.  In UO in the early days, player
> killing was common and somewhat expected - it was the jerks
> emoting crude things to your corpse while your ghost helplessly
> had to stand there and watch that really got people's blood
> boiling.

I'd have to agree with this, even going all the way across the
spectrum to social text games.  Our biggest player scandals on
AmberMUSH related to harassment and spying, specifically.  Since it
was a roleplaying world, you could lambaste, berate, and infiltrate
to your heart's content, in-character, but the moment you started
harassing someone out-of-character, or found some way to listen in
on conversations that were thought by the players to be relatively
private (regardless of whether they were OOC or IC), you were at
serious risk of being booted from the game, entirely.

Damion's point about player expectations is a good one.  What sort
of expectations have you set up for your players?  Do they have a
reasonable expecation of privacy?  Do they expect killings to happen
frequently, rarely, or not at all?  Is trash talk the norm, or is it
highly frowned upon?  Is theft a regular part of life?  Are players
expected to be in-character all the time, sometimes, or never?
Whether these answers are codified in official rules, or exist
merely as some unwritten common law of your player community, it is
the violation of these social norms in your game that are often the
most offensive to other players.  People may not always know what
they're signing up for, in the beginning, but after a couple of
months, they usually know whether they are a good fit for the
culture of a game.  Most players who don't fit the culture will
leave.  It is those who fight that culture and try to destroy it who
will ultimately be seen as the greatest criminals by your player

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