Player wimping


Link under discussion and emergency mirror.

I found this article on the psychodynamics and repeated dramas / cliches of communities in multi user dungeons’, which was some kind of transitional social culture between modern gamers and traditional tabletop gamers.

(Mud = Multi-user dungeon”; Gods = Dungeon/Game Masters”; Wimping = making players impotent, i.e. nerfing, blunting)

Some passages:

Player Wimping: A Critical Examination

Generally done under the rationalization of mud balancing”… one of the most insidious acts one can undertake. Wimping results in more hurt players, and more shattered morale for a mud than anything any player could ever accomplish.

Best Intentions:

Almost without fail, when a mud starts, it starts because a player decides the gaming world needs something friendly and unique” and finds himself in a situation where he is not satisfied with how the mud he is on is run.

The Honeymoon:

As the mud opens, the [Game Masters] are visible and helpful, they give freely of their time to players with little grudging.”

[note: grudging”.]

At first, [GMs] do their best to keep people happy… It is likely that they will give in against their own gut feelings when they do some of these things. In their rightly motivated effort to please they sometimes go further than they should thus setting themselves up to fail.”

Midlife Crisis:

Somewhere along the way the gods begin to feel pressured and they begin to withdraw. Slightly at first, simply going invisible, but they still talk regularly with players. But it does not stop, …. Soon the [GMs] find themselves only talking to their peers.”

Danger Point:

It is at the point where the players become secondary to the creation that the danger exists… [GMs] talk to people who will by their nature agree, asking little if any input from the players that will be most affected by their choices.”

Some thoughts:

This feels like the kind of problem where there’s heterogenous actors with different perceptions of the world but also some kind of interesting group psychopathology.

Like, I can’t imagine the cyclic dramas of the flourishing & then decaying internet-dungeons-and-dragons campaign playing out so predictably if there weren’t psychodynamics forcing all of the actors to play the same roles each time

I would love to bash out some transactional analysis of the roles and types at play here. For now, I’d recommend reading Tenarius’s original thesis in full.