[MUD-Dev] Mud governance

Mike Sellers mike at online-alchemy.com
Mon Oct 20 23:33:58 CEST 1997

At 09:23 PM 10/20/97 PST8PDT, coder at ibm.net wrote:
>>I've never heard of the Black Rose incident... anyone care to elaborate
>>in email?
>I posted the Black Rose incident here a short while ago.  Essentially it
>was a long and rambling log of a discussion between members of the Black
>Rose gang (a group of PK'ers on a MUSH) and an Admin on the validity of
>their wish to PK and its effects on the game.

Man, this sounds disturbingly similar to a long-running incident we had on
Meridian 59 with the "Dragon Order" clan: they had semi-justified
complaints that were handled badly, their complaints escalated beyond all
reason, and things spiraled out of control from there.  Of course, it was
at that point that Wired decided we were newsworthy. ;)  

Oh, and FWIW, I hear that the Dragon Order is now present in several online
games, both free and commercial (yes, including UO, Raph).  I respect some
of their leaders, but they may be the closest thing I've seen to a La Cosa
Nostra in the online gaming world.  

>Mostly it was a strong proof of the ineffectualness of attempting to
>govern by concensus.

Governing by consensus works in this world only because, ultimately,
someone somewhere has the power to _make_ those who disagree go along with
the group by force.  It may be a sad comment on our (lack of) social
evolution, but for a significant and persistent portion of the population,
it's true (don't believe me? ride with your local police for one night).
For better or worse, we have much more limited powers in any virtual world,
and yet we have roughly the same proportion of malcontents no matter what
we do (Hanke's Law).  

However, I believe we can begin to approximate the same sort of power we
have in the physical world in MUDs by enabling "special powers" in the form
of executive, judicial, and police/military forces under _some_ form of
popular control (somewhere from post-Magna Carta monarchy to democracy).
It'll be a heck of an experiment anyway.  

Mike Sellers                                    Chief Alchemist
mike at online-alchemy.com                         Online Alchemy              

        Combining art & science to create new worlds.

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