[MUD-Dev] "An essay on d00dism and the MMORPG"

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 28 23:05:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Tuesday, November 28, 2000, Lee Sheldon wrote:

>> On The Two Towers, a Tolkien-based mud, we offered this option, of
>> playing the
>> 'evil races': orcs, trolls, olog-hai, black numenoreans,
>> haradrim, etc.
>> Surprise, surprise! nearly all our dOOds gravitated to
>> playing the evil races.

> I admit I am somewhat surprised it worked.  I would think that the nature of
> the d00d is that he would find equal pleasure in playing good characters.
> He sees himself as good, even if his play is perceived by others as evil.
> He sees his method of play as virtuous.  He can exploit and grief because
> the game allows it, and still be good.  And also he wouldn't want to feel
> herded by the designers into some kind of d00d ghetto.  His game rewards are
> in spite of the designers as much as it is in spite of other players.  He is
> amoral after all, isn't he, not immoral?

I'd say that most d00ds see themselves not as "good", but as "not
wrong".  D00ds justify their more obnoxious habits on the basis of
"it's just a game", or "if they really didn't want people to do it,
they shouldn't have made it possible".  To put it in traditional RPG
terms, I'd say that most d00ds see themselves as neutral.

To use an analogy (always a dangerous thing, but hey), consider
someone who routinely drives 60 in a 45 zone.  That person probably
doesn't consider what they're doing "wrong", but they also probably
don't consider it to be "good".  If you offer them a route with no
speed limit, though, they're going to take it -- not because they feel
guilty about speeding, but because they do realize that, even though
they don't believe they're in the wrong, they can get traffic tickets.

In the same way, if you offer a d00d a chance to have free reign to
PK, steal, etc., they'll happily take it.

       |\      _,,,---,,_    Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'
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