MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


RE: [SOCIAL-SUMMARY] Gender RL vs. gender in-MOO

>   Followups to this discussion should go by email only, since it has
>  been pointed out that this list is not appropriate for social issues.
>  (Question: where does one discuss social issues in MOOs ?)

It's a grey area.

MOO-COWS is for MOO-specific issues.  That something might have
social content is not a problem per se.  One may, e.g., discuss
implementations of or alternatives to @gag, which is certainly a very
social-oriented topic, but it nevertheless satisfies the MOO-specific

For non-MOO-specific discussion, the canonical place is the
Usenet hierarchy (and you'll have to ask your local sysadmin or ISP how you
can get access to Usenet newsgroups; don't ask me!).

To be sure, there have been plenty of past discussions concerning the
uses of MOOs or the general acceptance of MOOs (e.g., "How do I justify my
MOO to these pinhead university administrators who think that all MUDs are
games?") that are of rather intense interest to many people running MOOs,
but which admittedly could just as easily apply to any other kind of MUD
and hence are not MOO-specific (though the answers are usually MOO-specific).
I'd hate to see these ruled out completely.

The gender-bending discussion is problematic in that gender-bending has
been around since long before the first version of MOO.  On the other hand
there *is* some question of whether, say, the LambdaCore/JHMCore/EtcCore
help texts concerning @gender might need to be changed, if we are
indeed now encountering a fresh population of less-net-savvy people
unfamiliar with (and hence more likely to be outraged by) gender-bending.

I would say a warning in `help @gender' might be just the Right Thing.


>   So, it seems that among MOO administrators more or less everybody thinks
>  that the idea sucks (BTW I agree).
>  ...
>  -stupid : why bother with gender matching, if we are not
>   going to deal with age, religion, marital status, etc

well, perhaps my message wasn't terribly clear.  I actually disagree
(i.e., that requiring VR/RL-gender match is totally useless, sucks, etc...)
Nor did I actually say "stupid"; I *was* trying to be somewhat neutral.

In particular, I happen to think the dating-service/interactive-personals-ad
paradigm *is* a perfectly viable model.  I would even speculate that 
there is a
sizeable population out there that might even pay serious $$ to get
into one that is well-run.  How many of you might happen to want
to subscribe is perhaps another matter...

Now that I think about it, the enforcement problem
  (a) is roughly equivalent to the enforcement problem that many MOOs
      currently have, e.g., ensuring that two distinct players are not
      controlled by the same typist (and thus entitled to two distinct
      quota allotments).
  (b) mostly evaporates if we're talking about a pay-MUD
      situation where there are real credit-card-#s/IDs that can be
      verified, never mind that fewer people are inclined to waste
      real money on a spoof.

To be sure, keeping DateMOO from turning into the standard meat-market
situation and attracting the right balance of customers would remain a
challenge.  There's also the question of how to keep out the serial
killers, but this is no different from what RL dating services have to
contend with.

There is also the question of whether VR/RL-gender-match allows anything
else useful apart from the MOO-as-dating-service model.  I'll admit that
I couldn't think of anything (and evidently no one else did, either), 
but my own
lack of imagination shouldn't by itself be an indictment of the concept.

I'll also grant that those wizards you encountered indeed sound like pinheads
(how did they decide you were male?)


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