MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


RE: Gender RL vs. gender in-MOO

>  Do you have any policy that enforces that the gender
>  people use in your MOO must match the gender they
>  have in Real Life ?
>  And, if you have this policy, do you spell it
>  out clearly or do you suppose it is obvious and
>  self evident ?

There is no such policy at LambdaMOO or JHM.  In fact, I know of no MOO
(or MUD even) that has such a policy.  Given that, historically
for MUDs, gender-bending is pretty much the default behavior --- a good
rule of thumb a few years ago was to suppose that about 90% of the
declared-female population was actually male IRL --- any prohibition would
have to be explicitly spelled out.

I'll grant that things may be slightly different now given the substantial
increase in the number of women on line.

More interesting questions:
  (1) What would be the goal of such a policy?

  (1a) What purpose is served in reliably knowing ONLY the gender of one's
      correspondents?  (i.e., ignoring other attributes like age, location,
      ethnicity, occupation, marital status, or religion --- note that if
      you're running a dating service, then these are all very important).

  (2) How would such a policy be enforced?
      (Hint:  Is <> male or female?)

(2) is a secondary issue and really only has to do with how *effective* such
a policy would be.  Consider running a MOO/MUD on which all players are
explicitly associated with their RL identities; this would have similar
enforcement problems, but other administrative aspects may become easier.
Once (1) is nailed down, other more effective policies might well suggest

Although the standard everyone-anonymous/you-are-your-description
model is the one most in favor at the moment, both in terms of what's
technically easiest and what's the most popular with users, it is not
the only way to run a MUD

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