[MUD-Dev] Player Justice

Damion Schubert ubiq at zenofdesign.com
Sun Mar 14 03:31:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004


From: John Buehler

> But what I've been reading for a few days now is statements about
> in-game "justice" for what amounts to grief play.  I've always
> assumed that grief play was defined by actions that players take
> that is counter to (damaging to) the intent of the game.  That it
> is 'outside' the game experience.  If I'm playing chess with
> somebody and a griefer comes along and flips over the board, we
> don't dock him a queen in his next match.  We eject him from the
> place that we're playing.  Perhaps after a warning.

> The "ultimate punishment" is to eject a player from the game
> (support issues are expensive).  Obviously, this is fraught with
> the usual re-emergence problem where a player just starts up
> another subscription to your game.  But that is a real world
> battle with a person who is acting against the interests of your
> game company.  It has nothing to do with putting that player's
> character in virtual jail.

> In-game justice systems deal with the fiction of sanctioned game
> actions.  Customer support systems deal with grief play.  In-game
> justice systems should be implemented only so far as supporting
> evidence can be documented and analyzed by the game software.
> It's a game feature, after all.  Customer support systems would be
> well-advised to be implemented such that victims of grief play can
> report facts from the gameplay experience.

Perhaps it was misexplained, but the Justicar system that was
discussed here was designed primarily to deal with in-character
anti-social play (i.e. player killing and what not).  For true grief
play (i.e.  mudrape, etc) you still have the ability to escort
players forcibly from the play space.

That being said, once we put in the Justicar system, it seemed to me
like players did indeed take more of that responsibility upon
themselves and we got fewer calls about abuse (killing someone for
being a punk was now pardonable and condonable by society) although
truth be told that was about the time that our society matured
(i.e. our numbers peaked and we didn't have floods of idiot new
players coming in), so that may have been somewhat coincidental.
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