Friday's Foxtrot
April 16, 2000 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Friday's Foxtrot looked suspiciously like Greg's Project Crapster, no?
posted by luke (1 comment total)
I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened more already. Any regular Napsterists care to comment?

I've played team games online for a couple of years now, and you'd think that the incredible graphics and gameplay would be more than enough to keep anyone amused. Unfortunately, there's always just enough of a certain type of spoiler who is there to "break" the game for everyone else. He's not there to win points, he's not there to enjoy working with his team; all of the expected incentives have no effect on him.

Careful coding and map design has helped mitigate most of these issues. There are still ways to get around it, though. Recently I was in a game where a mouth-breather playing on my team thought it was great fun to stand on a high point and blast his rocket launcher at teammates, all game long. Of course, as teammates, he couldn't kill us -- he couldn't raise himself in the standings. But he could disrupt all our defensive efforts, blowing us out of the way for enemies to get through, stripping off our armor by his rocket blast, and generally distracting us enough from the game milieu that we were always aware there was somebody here who was in a metagame all his own, which yanked our minds back into the real world as we got madder and madder at him. Alas, there was no game admin online at that time and we had a choice of putting up with it or quitting.

Comparable examples from the world of USENET abound, such as the people who enjoy nothing more than dropping in on a particular discussion group, posting something offensively off-topic but designed to inflame emotions, and then sitting back and watching people snipe at each other. One group (alt.syntax.tactical) even took such games to meta-heights where they "won" by involving as many different newsgroups as they could in these debates.

So, given the opportunity, the net's anonymity, and the lack of enforcement, it seems to be a given that people will engage in this sort of behavior.

What will the Napster/Gnutella/Freenet models need to do to handle this problem when it appears? Overlay a trust and ratings model? How could that be abused (q.v. slashdot moderation)?
posted by dhartung at 10:16 PM on April 16, 2000

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