Sunday, June 24, 2007

Player Bill of Rights? Bad Idea.

Just back from Ludium 2, and figured I'd finally start up a place where I can more extensively centralize my thoughts other than scattered message boards.

The end result of Ludium 2 was a decent set of statements. While I believe there were some important things omitted, and several of the statements lack in power, there's only one I strongly disagree with: the establishment of a player's bill of rights.

This may seem strange, considering my background in virtual worlds is almost entirely as a player. But this concept is not a new one - we thrashed through these same arguments in 1999-2000 when UO and EverQuest were in their heyday - and the conclusion was that this is a bag of worms and, ultimately, something that is unneccessary.

First and foremost, it must be remembered that virtual worlds exist because someone or multiple someones have paid a lot of money to create them. Those someone or someones, understandably, have the right to exert a degree of control over their world. Establishing a player bill of rights eliminates a portion of the developer and publishers' ability to remove people they feel are detracting elements from their game world.

One of the tenets of the Ludium 2 statements was that different virtual worlds require different policies, and this is absolutely true. A blanket "player's bill of rights" to apply across the board is simply inappropriate. My first example of how this doesn't work - freedom of speech - is in the next post.

No comments: