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 Post subject: To the Ashen Millinery:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Posts: 671
In light of recent events regarding The Fun House and The Illusions hoods, a thought occurred that perhaps certain restrictions would benefit the community on certain "illusions" unless properly planned. I want to reiterate that I do support the notoriety brought to the cavern by these recent events and that the uses of illusions with respect to the
client are many and fascinating.

However, I propose that in this thread those who support the illusions but have reservations about certain aspects of them or the group responsible create a list of effects which they feel should be off-limits or otherwise used only in pre-planned events I.E. restricted to the Illusions hood during a scheduled "show."

Now rather than let this devolve into the inevitable back and forth argument that it could be, I think we could all benefit from taking a step back and making a list of what should be exploited and what should not. Of course if you feel something should be restricted, don't simply say so, give also your reasons behind why you feel the way you do.

I, for one, have two arguments. The first is that, while having avatars perform certain actions such as everyone dancing or everyone suddenly swimming is all in good fun, having your avatar suddenly be taken control of and moved around without your consent could be seen as threatening. While such displays are obviously possible, they are really counter-productive to the proposed demilitarization of the group responsible and of the Writers in general. The main reason some explorers disagree with the illusions is because they feel threatened by the fact that "hackers" may or may not have power over the game. To facilitate the idea that the illusionists mean no harm to the normal explorers, I feel it is important to respect their personal space as it were..

My second point will probably be the subject of much debate and I'm going to use an odd analogy that some may not agree with but bear with me. There's a certain level of mysticism prevalent in every Myst game and Uru is no different. The tantalizing thought of what could be beyond those barriers in the city or of what doors will one day be open. Much of that mystery is lost when you see what lies beyond and become desensitized to the presence of it. Remember when it was all new and you stepped into the library on Ae'gura for the first time not knowing what lost treasures could be hidden amongst the dust and echoes. The bahro represent one of Uru's most fascinating mysteries. We know much about them in unintended ways via Myst V but Cyan intentionally withheld much of their history and origins to keep them mysterious.
When you were a little kid you probably learned fairly quickly that there are words you can say and words you were forbidden to. Such words would cause an outburst from your parents and usually punishment. It is only much later when you realize the importance of having forbidden words in the first place. When used in the proper context they increase the severity of a situation and force people to take notice. If you use them often then their impact is lessened until they have nearly no meaning at all. The bahro remain mysterious because you never see them very often unless something important is going on. Nearly every time I've been to the Fun House I've seen people running around as bahro and for me, seeing them often will cheapen the experiences where their presence actually means something. It is for this reason that I feel bahro avatars should also only be used in scheduled events in the Illusions hood and not as cheap costumes in The Fun House.

Of course, the above are my own opinions and any who disagrees can feel free to argue their case. I'd like this to be an open letter both to the hackers and to the "regular" explorers to get a feel for what people like about the illusions and what they simply tolerate because they have no avenue to argue. Please take into consideration the above and keep up the good work.

~Loshem

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Before this goes too much further, I think I should make a couple of comments.

There's an assumption here, and in other recent posts, that The Fun House is an "open house" without rules. That is not really the case: As PaladinOfKaos noted in another thread, there are expected standards of behaviour, an etiquette, for those controlling the "illusions". Weird things can happen at any time in TFH, sure, but within bounds.

I do not know the exact nature or content of the discussions between the Grey Hats and Cyan, but I do know that in permitting the Hood of Illusions and The Fun House, there was an understanding reached with the primary Grey Hat representatives regarding the acceptable scope of use, and I believe that has been adhered to by those people. So my belief is that the limits are already in place: That a few hackers may not be adhering to those limits is a different matter altogether.

There may not be an obligation for "illusionists" to join a Grey Hat group, but there would appear to be an expectation that they will conform to the agreed behaviours: To not do so would put them in the "Black Hat" category and would be looked upon unfavourably by Cyan.

One of the key things here is "choice". People can choose to visit The Fun House or not. If you do not wish to experience the effects, do not visit. Some people will find themselves there by accident (new players) and it may be disorienting for them, but you cannot legislate for every eventuality. But by and large, people can choose whether or not they participate.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:40 pm 
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Obduction Backer

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:08 am
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I will argue my case:
1. Taking control of avvies- I agree.
2. Illusions beyond the doors- TFH is not a good place for IC. Never. EVER. :D
3. Special avatars- I really oppose you on this one. Bahro and DRC are almost never seen nowadays. Newbies want to see them. We all do. Plus, if they do arrive many will miss seeing them.
Have a nice day :D

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Obduction Backer

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Before you go too far with this, please see my post. The issue could be a of a completely benign source (a bug).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: Digging around in the dusty archives, uncovering Uru history.
Very thoughtful post, Loshem. And, thanks to Mac for noting the expectations of some boundaries in the hood.

I can see both sides of the avatar control issue. It seems like it would certainly be a lot of fun to swim along with everyone through the hood, but also could be disconcerting and disorienting to lose control, especially if unexpected. There should be a way to easily escape without having to quit the game. Can they at least access the Relto book and link out?

I wonder if it would be possible to create a "permissions" set up that required those that want to participate to touch something so the "illusionist" doesn't have to get everyone's verbal consent which would delay the fun. In SL, you can touch something like a danceball and receive a message asking if it's okay to animate your avatar. Choose yes and you can dance in sync with everyone. To disengage, you simply touch the danceball again.

Clearly, Uru already has a similar set up in place (albeit without the written statement): touch a book and it appears on your screen; touch that book and you grant permission for your avatar to be animated and linked. I wonder if the Grey Hats could use this and designate one of the hood books as the avatar animations permissions control.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:02 am 
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I want to make it clear that my post is in no way an attack on anyone. I'm just curious what the explorers feel should and shouldn't be allowed. I'm fully aware there is an agreement with Cyan and whether or not that has been violated is not the topic of this thread. It's just a means to respectfully play Devil's Advocate. I support the illusionists though I have reservations which I outlined above. I think it would be good to see the opinions of other explorers on the negative aspects of the illusions. The positives have been clearly defined elsewhere. Once again, this was intended as a discussion, not an attack.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:04 am 
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Tai'lahr, that's an interesting suggestion.

Perhaps it could be programmed so that, when an avatar first clicks on the linking book to the Illusions or Fun House hoods, a menu or warning box could pop up, explaining the details of the 'hoods and giving a "Do you want to continue" option?

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