28 January 2009

Gaming addiction - Old problem new awareness?

So a few weeks ago a player on the MUD went postal and started player killing everyone. Some logged off most retaliated. At that point the player started whining that people were cheating and reported to the Administration the perceived cheat.

The admin looked into it, spoke to the players involved separately, spoke to witnesses then ruled it as not a cheat or a rule infraction. The admin then informed the accuser and the accused of the decision. The accuser was upset.

Phrases were uttered like I have spent so much on this game and I do not have a job. I will leave and take my friends with me. This game is my life. I have nothing out side of it, don't take it away.

Obviously this player has issues. The issues are not game related, but personality related. This person (whether it was true or a put on) has now told everyone who plays the MUD that they are not capable of functioning in the real world and has retreated to games as his life. True or not the thought is sad. There are people who rely on outside sources to validate themselves to the world.

We see it in business, people can;t function if they lose their prestige, they fall apart if their department is taken away. In relationships it is what makes people stalkers and in personal ties hobbyists who turn into fanatics.

It is a form of addiction and of escape from reality. So why are there so many these days, or are there? Is it like the perceived increase in woman gamers, just easier to find people or is it truly new phenomenon? Where does the responsibility of the game owners and other players start and finish. Most states have tap laws so that bar tender may not overserve a guest. Should game owners siteban perceived addicts?

On the other hand.. If this is a fairly new problem, why is gaming the chosen form of escape now? What is it replacing? Television, books, or something similar? Or is it because people cannot meet face to face as they did. Are the less tolerant of differences in spite of the lip-service paid and as a result ostracize those who do not fit into a their image of themselves. Or worse does it allow those who are insecure to hide rather than try?

I do not know and am seeking an answer. It worries me that so much mainstream emphasis is placed on gaming lately. All I do know do know that games are supposed to enrich life not be life.

26 January 2009

If wishes were Bugs then Gamers would Rule

Lately I have been quiet here because I have been busy with the MUD. Valhalla is growing again and it is because we are 'restructuring'. No we are not laying off non paid MUD staff, but rather organizing and adding.

Here is what we have done so far - reinstituted the bug, typo and idea reporting tools. They have been there but no one was using them.

Help file update. The owner of the engine (whistler) and the main big boy Admin (Darg) have added a LOT of changes over the years. But many have never been added to the help. The new admin (Etna) has started on that huge task.

Brought back the MUD paper so that progress can be read by all those who care in it as well as to involve others who wish to contribute, but do not have the time, inclination or knowledge to build or admin.

Implemented 1 new zone, brought back 2 that had been removed for correction and contacted all builders we could find that had zones in progress on test.

Hardware admin (Bakka) has added new eq and been tweaking things.

So perusing the bug reports there are lots of real ones, some that are the usual WAD (working as designed) then something I never saw in the 'real world' The wish bugs. Ones such as this quest must be broken because I cannot find the people I need to, or the reward must be bugged because I cannot use it or it has higher reqs than i like.

So what is this? This is a game.. not all characters can use all items nor should they. Not all quests are easy to solve. And no the admin will not change or fix so you can have the most powerful character in the game.

I really wonder about gamers somedays, I thought it was all about the challenge. That is what most SAY, but it seems when it comes down to it, all the things that are being done, have been done and are slated to be done do not matter. To the players, it is not about making the game better, it is about bragging. Even though if the game were to be made easy it would not be worth bragging about.

So, next time you go online and check a cheat site or a walkthrough for ANY game, think about this. Why are you really playing the game?