Requested Post, By Expectation16/05/2015 / bySebastian / Categories : Hamumu, Libertarianism, RTsoft
A friend of ours, Expectation (Paul Gz.), wrote a small post concerning libertarianism in Growtopia (A game by RtSoft and Hamumu Software). The Growtopian community is a horrible place to be in, because players don’t carry any responsibility for their actions. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they get away with griefing other people’s art/work, stealing, and harassment. Although the developers of Growtopia are slowly improving the behaviour of their community, there are still several headaches.
Hi Growtopians, the topic is why are people able to scam? People scam us a lot, and it feels so bad to us, right? But also, the moderators don’t do anything about it. They don’t do their jobs properly! They are like weirdos who are just hungry for fame. The only way to stop libertarianism is to tell to them that they should do their jobs properly. Sometimes Seth and Hamumu are just like crazy men, because they don’t care for the feelings of the gamers, they just care for their own benefit! Do you know what I mean?
Libertarianism is a huge problem in many multiplayer games, such as Eve Online. The trouble is that many players, especially in North America, don’t see anything wrong with such a system. They argue against any critique by saying it gives people freedom.
But the idea of freedom in many multiplayer games is usually another way of saying, “I don’t care what my community does, deal with it.” It’s also used as an excuse for stealing. While everything can’t be moderated all the time, without an enforcement of rules an anarchist community is slowly created. While libertarianism may seem like an attractive system because of the tantalising word that is “liberty”, there is a very fine line between chaos and harmony with this ideology.
Libertarianism causes much chaos, and only benefits bullies and exploiters. Here is the state of one world in Growtopia, CZESC, under libertarianism…
The brown sign has words which use abusive language, aimed at the original authors (Elsa and Pup514). Near the world entrance, there used to be bulletin boards and multi-coloured walls. To the right there were Tangram blocks (A semi-rare item in Growtopia), but they were all stolen.
This concludes that trust is treated like a product, and no one cares about your work.
Methods Of Moderation
Obviously, the ideology of libertarianism with concepts of self-moderation and the self-made man is ridden with thin lines between anarchy and civility. What other approaches can be implemented to sustain a peaceful environment in multiplayer games?
One approach would be to use automatic profane word detection algorithms, which many online games use. Another method would be to implement an in-game report system like Roblox.com has. Perhaps moderators could be hired as well to sieve through the reports and take action where necessary. Their efficiency could be monitored by the amount of time they spend moderating and the amount of reports they have processed in that time. But the main point here is to have a two-way relationship between the developers and players. Treating player complaints as little annoyances and refusing to answer moderator-related questions is a good way to enter the realm of discord.
Although MMORPGs can be a pain to control, as most often only one-percent of rule-breakers are punished during the course of the game’s availability, having some measures set in place before the official release of a massive multiplayer game can help greatly with regulation. Such measures include making newly created accounts take a specified amount of time (like two days) before being activated (this deters some frivolous account creation), and limiting the number of accounts a player can have per device or IP address.
An online community is formed by rules and the ways in which they are enforced. For example, the forum community at Hamumu Software (hamumu.com) is a very civil place to post. This is not because the members made it that way, but because the founder, Mike Hommel a.k.a. Jamul, molded it that way by implementing strict rules. The argument that an anarchic community is caused because people who act in a wild-west manner is not always true.