Re: Ethics.

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 02/01/00

        Sorry to bring up a dying topic, but I just wanted to butt in with
my opinion on it....

        The majority of you are wrong. ;)

        See, say I make a character on a mud.  I play the game.  I like to
say things like 'this is my character' and 'this is my password'.  In
actuality the 'my' only applies to the originator, and not the owner. See,
that character, and everything about it is actually owned by the
administrator of the mud, who allows you to play there.  They are under no
obligation to allow you to continue playing, to even continue running the
mud.  They certainly are under no obligation to keep all your...excuse me,
their information private.

        Having worked for Intel, Motorola, and IBM, I can tell you right
out, everything you do is logged.  It's their network, and they have a
right to know everything that goes on.  Why should games be different?

        It does come as a shock to a lot of people out there that by using
someones system - like a mud - they give up their right to privacy on it,
but it's too bad.

        I found people even resistant to this idea, which I thought
interesting: 'Determine people's personal habits automatically'.

        For example, say we want to know who is friends with whom.  As a
start, we can simply monitor the amount of time spent in identical rooms,
add modifiers if they're talking to eachother, or giving eachother
equipment.. count tells, etc.  You could make a point based system which
would give a good relative yes/no response.

        Lets say we want to know who's having mud sex with other people (a
most taboo subject on many muds, as far as administration logging it).
Just do the friends, add a scan for use of a certain set of words, and
possibly male/female examinations.  Also scan for areas which are private,
or otherwise inaccessable.  You'd end up with a set of yes/no's. Simple,
easy, you could probably just stay on all the time doing 'where's and as
soon as a certain couple kept running to 'the cozy bedroom' or 'the fluffy
clouds', where their idle time becomes erratic, you could give them a yes.

        You could even figure out when people are most likely to log on by
watching their login times, and for how long.  Most of these things you
can do without even special code; are these violation of privacy, and thus
unethical?  I've been accused of logging everything simply because I could
regenerate a conversation nearly word for word from memory. How far does
this breach of privacy issue go for people who use someone elses property?

        Guess what? In the end, it still doesn't matter.  People should
play muds with the same background mindset that programmers should have
when they make their programs: Once it is out of your hands, it is in the
hands of the enemy.  The enemy will break it, use what you give them for
the worst possible purposes, etc.

        So, I don't think the end problem is ethics so much, as people
lulled into mental submission. People always assuming that their little
protective bubble is impervious, and then shouting in outrage when their
tiny little world shatters around them from the wind from a butterfly's

        Summation: Grow up. The world is an evil place. Deal.


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