Thursday, October 21, 2010

Death-Lover

Occasionally, I'll save a news article for later comment, and I decided to dig up an older one today, about how the Grim Reaper appears in Guild War to cut cheaters from the plane of the living with its scythe. I saved the article because it reminded me of public executions in a MUD called BatMUD. As I recall, when BatMUD game caught a cheater and decided it was time to go bye-bye, they put on a helluva show.

I remember the offending cheater literally paraded through town by the game mod. Players would pass by and notice as the victim was escorted to the town square, where a guillotine, noose, or some other execution device waited. On request, the mods would spawn objects like tomatoes that players could throw at the offender (and each other) as a long death sentence was read. Then down comes the guillotine. Maybe you could throw the head around, afterward. I don't remember whether the player could be logged in during the event, but hearing him/her babble or curse would only have made things more fun.

The relative ease (it's all text on a server with say, 200 players online at any given time) with which MUDs could pull off an event like this is one of many reasons it's so easy to wax nostalgic about my time playing them. Seeing an avatar appear and slice someone with a scythe is pretty cool, but parading them through town and letting players toss rotten fruit at them before doing it? Even cooler.

3 comments:

  1. It makes me wonder if such a practice could actually be a deterrent. Probably not for gold farmers and the like, but it reminds me of something I read recently about how in the writings of Plutarch he described a town with an epidemic of female suicides which was only halted when the leaders decreed that any woman was found to have committed suicide would be paraded naked through the town.

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  2. My gut says no since it's really just more attention for someone or a blip in a grind. But taking mundane maintenance like "ban the cheater" and turning it into gameplay, if not practical, is at fun way to have an event.

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  3. Oh, and that Plutarch description is interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.

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