Monday 14 December 2015

MMO Agendas: The Rule of Law vs. Judicial Temperance

[Part of my MMO Design Folder]

Based on the ATITD Test of the Coalition I thought it might be fun to see how the rest of you feel about the following agendas when it comes to MMOs. I not only invite but encourage you to post your own thoughts on your respective blogs or if it's more convenient, in the comment section below.

Today's Agenda: The Rule of Law vs. Judicial Temperance

Are exploits a valid reward for their finder? When is it OK to bend or break the rules in an MMO?

LOL! For anyone who has been following this series then it will come as no surprise when I answer that second question with, NEVER. The law should always be followed to the letter, nothing less and nothing more. I wouldn't trust a game master / company who continually gives free passes to people clearly abusing a system that's meant to be enforced as it just would encourage criminals more. Broken windows theory and all that.

How tempered is your justice?


  1. I have a more nuanced view : playing with the limitation of the game engine is part of the video-games since the begining. One classic exemple is to attack a boss from a "safe spot" that was not planned by the dev, or trying to access hidden part by hugging wall.
    I would put the limit at " do not disturb other player enjoyment of the game".
    I agree that the dev shall try to fix the bug, and punish the player that disturb the other player. But punishing someone because they have found a bug that is more or less within the limitation of the game ? I do not think so.
    The Broken window analogy is not correct for me,as there is always someone suffering from the vandalism/criminality. A better - but sillier - comparison would be : if someone is able to bend the physics, such a bending a spoon by its mental strength, is it punishable ?

    1. Hehe, the "do not disturb other player enjoyment of the game" is a pretty good marker.

      With your physics bendy spoon question - No, probably not if the person is bending their own spoon but if they start bending other people's spoons (especially if they are being used at the time) then hell yes they should be punished!

      More complicated is if they get bonuses for being able to bend spoons over people who can't, though that's more a jealousy question (also present in MMOs) than a law vs crime one.

      Lastly the Broken window theory is not so much about the vandalism - it's the concept that if you don't punish lesser crimes it encourages people to commit greater ones and as a whole, society begins to spiral into the toilet. Obviously that link explains it much better than I do. :P