[MUD-Dev] [Meta] chest puffing (fwd)

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <o.f.grostad@notam.uio Ola Fosheim Grøstad <o.f.grostad@notam.uio
Fri May 19 21:45:15 CEST 2000

Par Winzell wrote:
> Ola Fosheim Grøstad writes:
>  > While deleting information and characters from a system can be a ritual
>  > act by the person realizing that he is addicted in a disadvantageous
>  > fashion (see Suler and Clodius?), it can also be a sign of a person who
>  > is on the wedge of committing physical suicide.  See Rheingold, "The
>  > virtual community", pages 34-37.
> I can't quite tell if this is meant tongue-in-cheek or not. It makes
> me oddly uneasy to read either way... not the content itself (which is
> obviously true) but the context and the selection... the old problem
> of assembling some set of facts and confusing that with understanding.

Not tongue-in-cheek, do you think I am a pervert? (Never mind...) I am
somewhat fascinated with the length of your reply and your "confusing
that with understanding". So, what was that supposed to mean???

The basic problem belongs to the trite "you never know" and "text is a
foggy smokescreen" domain.  What is great for roleplay and constructed
drama also leaves a lot of opportunity for harming other people. 
Whether it is pretending to be suicidal or ignoring suicidal signs and
justifying anything as play.  I am personally easily pissed off by
people pretending to be suicidal, or coming forward with such threats
and am likely to not deal gracefully with it. (Or rather, I get worked
up over the anxiety he induce in the rest of the populace just for the
heck of it). The suicidal-claiming user is really in a win-win
situation, which is truly annoying. No matter what you do, he will still
be able to laugh at your expense. (as he gets to objectively define you
as a soft-hearted moron or a cold-hearted asshole solely based on your

> in something real... and what I felt, and feel, is that following down
> the road of your paragraph, taking even that fraction of a step in the
> direction of Jerry Springer, is such a bad idea as to be morally wrong.

I don't watch Jerry Springer (is that a talk show?) so I don't quite

>  > I assume that the admins that read MUD-Dev are mature enough to handle
>  > those users gently... (then again...)
> So I would like to turn your (rather loaded) assumption into a question;
> is "gentle" good? Ask a social worker and they will tell you that while
> people who are feeling messed up may have an enormous craving for (and
> deficit of) love in their lives, what they need more than anything are
> boundaries; clearly defined, unapologetic, nearly inhuman authority
> figures. An admin is a wall; if you push the wall, it should not give.

A suicidal person belongs to the domain of trained psychologists, I
believe the best you could do is to empathetically convince him to hang
on and go see one physically (or someone at his local church), or maybe
you have one on your system to take on the job. I'm not saying that
admins (or regular social workers) should be capable of dealing with
this situation.  It might be worthwhile to read what psychologists
(especially those interested in MUDs, such as John Suler) write about
the issue though...

> When somebody is feeling that life is unstable, structure is absolutely
> vital; they should be able to adress the administration of a Mud and be
> sure they will get a response free of malice but also of great integrity.

A person inclined to commit suicide is not only feeling that life is
unstable, life is momentarily void.  I'm not talking about weirdoes, or
people with trouble acting out, I'm talking about people chopping
"life-strings".  People with a rigid structured life commit suicide too,
as in a prison??

When that weird kid suddenly delete all his stuff and yell at you then
it might not be the best time for smart answers and rejection... Or is
there some evidence to the contrary?
Ola  -  http://www.notam.uio.no/~olagr/

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