[MUD-Dev] Mud governance

Travis Casey efindel at polaris.net
Sun Oct 19 20:58:04 CEST 1997

Koster, Raph <rkoster at origin.ea.com> wrote:

>Hi guys, I'm looking for documents on mud governance and
>administration, and you're the best bunch to ask. Things like the
>section of Javelin's PennMUSH document covering tips for mud admins,
>or Amberyl's Wizard Ethics document (which I haven't been able to
>locate, ftp.tinymush.org never seems to connect). This is for the
>purpose of educating new admin staff... I also intend to salt 'em with
>a few things like Dibbell's Village Voice article, Bartle's paper, and
>the log of the Black Rose incident (as a negative example). Got any
>other favorites?

I've never heard of the Black Rose incident... anyone care to elaborate in

>ObDiscussionTopic: to what extent should mud governance be an issue in
>server design? And related to that, what then needs to be implicit in
>the server design to support governance by an administrative staff?

I'd say it really depends on the people designing the mud.  Some on this
list want their muds to have no administrative governance and want any
player governance to be done through in-game means rather than external
means (e.g., they don't want to grant any special powers to certain players
to help them govern).

Others would like a player-run government, simply because they don't want
to have to deal with the issues themselves (and also because it may seem
fairer to the players than having a "higher power" resolve issues), but
do think that the player representatives should be given special powers.

The "traditional" method, of course, is governance by the mud's
administrators.  This can range from an arbitrary dictatorship to a
bureaucracy complete with appeals, etc.

My personal leanings are for the administrators to have the right and
powers to find and punish cheaters (leaving aside the definition of what
is cheating for the moment -- that's really up to the admins, and some may
feel that there is no such thing as cheating).  Interplayer disputes ought
to be handled among the players -- if the players wish to have a government,
that's fine, and I'd even be willing to give some players limited special
powers, *if* the majority of players want them to have them.  However, I'd
want to severely limit those powers and keep a close eye on those who are
given them.
      |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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