Friday, 4 April 2008

Idiocy and How To Fix It

Gamasutra has an article titled Fixing Online Gaming Idiocy: A Psychological Approach. I'm sure your first thought at seeing that was something like mine "Yeah, right. Good luck with that." Though your thoughts were probably more literate.

The article talks about how societal pressures keep the real world functioning:
In real life, people are capable of an incredibly wide variety of behaviors. People go to a bar on Saturday night and church on Sunday morning and manage not to get kicked out of either. How? They don't sing hymns and pray while at the bar, and don't smoke and drink during the sermon.

If I read it right, though, the essential mechanism for stopping idiocy happening is to make the penalty for being an idiot greater than reward for being not idiotic. In the real world examples above the penalty for breaking the rules is to be barred from those places and it's no fun being an idiot without an audience.

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