Sunday, March 2, 2008

Interview with Mafdet

Why did you leave the Riven?
I still consider myself Riven in a metaphorical sense. Leaving the
physical Dominion was a matter of growth. Euplicitous Aerophram did not
leave us with any indication that he was to return, and as many disciples
pointed out, it would have been incredibly hard to keep the Dominion
going properly without its Nomarch. Also, by joining other Dominions, the
last few Riven members can hopefully impart some of the wisdom gained

Why choose the Black Pearl?
Captain Jack Sparrow was terribly charming! It was fresh and new, with
a fun theme that might have been hard to find elsewhere. I had also
been watching his Invitees. He somehow managed to gain members from a
broad range of backrounds, and seemed to have a firm plan regarding
Dominion structure. A little bit of mystery also helped, I do like a bit of
intrigue, and at the time no one knew who Captain Jack was.

What do you think is the philosophy of the Black Pearl, if any?
I'm not sure that the Pearl has a specific philosophy. Probably
something to do with rum. I know that it is eager to help teach its newbies and help them to
become well-rounded disciples. Also to participate in the community,
battening down the hatches and sailing through stormy waters if needs be.
Anything further than that and you'll need to talk to the Captain.

Why did you leave the Black Pearl?
The role I held within the Pearl was something akin to 'Kitten Herder.'
Sometimes people just don't listen, no matter what you tell them, how
you tell them, or how many times you tell them. I don't have the
patience for that, and it was starting to show. I decided my departure would
be better than forcing other people out - it was my problem, and would
have been unfair to them. They can still learn a lot from the Pearl,
I'm just not sure that I'm the one to teach them.
Leaving has given me the chance to clear my head, and also to try out a
couple of paths that I had previously not completed.

Will you rejoin the Riven or the Black Pearl?
If Euplicitous Aerophram were to return I would hope to rejoin the
Riven, although this would depend on the circumstances of his return. At
this point it does not seem likely to happen. I do hope to rejoin the
Pearl at some point soon, even though I may have alienated some of the
members a little. I hope that they can see past that and would be willing
to have me back one day. :)

Thank You

The Right to Speak or the Responsibility?


Once more, the right of speech has come into question by the disciples of Ankhet. However, this time, it is not a freedom of speech issue. What has come into question is whether a disciple has simply the right to speak or the more complex responsibility to speak. eminem (The Black Pearl), perhaps, sparked this debate when he stated that "it's not your job to make a topic when you do something that they community may deem wrong[;] it's other people's responsibility." Mikolaj (Shadows) was quick to step in and give eminem a chance to think about his words by killing him and negging him and demonstrating how wrong he could be. Baltar (Shadows) quickly commented that while he did not agree with Mikolaj's actions, he "certainly disapprove[d] at least as strongly to your original suggestion that those who violate established community standards…have no obligation to offer an explanation."

This beginning of this thread (eminem – Underworld) sparked off a controversy in Ankhet. Should disciples have the choice of justifying their actions before or after they are asked about them? Or should disciples have the responsibility to explain themselves every time that they take an action against community standards, such as using abilities or killing off community resources? neminem (Nekhen) argued that "If you do something, and the community doesn't like what you've done, it is not, in fact, your job to preemptively apologize…in general, it's the responsibility of the people who feel offended by an action, to take up with the offender as to why the offensive action occurred." This seems to be the prevailing opinion of those who joined the argument. Regardless of whether a disciple has the right or the responsibility to speak, flaunting community standards will have the same results; the wrath of the community will fall heavily on his or her head.

Limited 'default'. What Do You Think?

Ma'at's Disciple, Fer Ynuph

For this issue, your dedicated editorialist has been asked to tackle a complex issue, and folks, it's got my head swimming! It's a story of loyalty and intrigue, perception and deception, responsibility and consequences. Central to it is this jewel of a data point: our splendiferous Ankhet setting does not reflect real world structures in the key areas of crime, justice, proof, and enforcement. The limits of what we know and what we can bring to bear are different from those outside the boundaries of our common world.

Enough with the preambling, eh? Here's the skinny:

default, a disciple of few solicited (and fewer unsolicited) public words, had a bad day. To work off unhappiness regarding the Outland holiday of hearts, chocolates, and nookie he took Kauket out ... but not on a date. No, he iced the black sphinxalicious Favour honey about six hours ahead of the clock time that the community has determined ok to commit that particular act of murdery indulgence.

It wasn't his first violent foray of the day, friends, far from it. Earlier, he visited his special brand of foreplay on Kalm, a new denizen of our fair land. True to the homophonic twin of her name, Kalm responded with poise and Decreed a Topic asking, in short, "Wha' Happen?" No public answer came from the lovelorn default over the course of the day, though Kalm later reported that a brief Telepath exchange provided her with no more information than that which she did not receive in public.

Enter Nefertiti. (No, that's not a command.)

She saw the early demise of Kauket, saw that no public statement had been made about it, saw that default was sphinxing away with Shai, who must've been impervious to his "charms" and was very much alive. Lacking the power pack of Abilities to enact the typical Dude You Killed Kauket Early result, Nefertiti chose to inflict the antisocial default with Paradoxes. She figured that this would keep him on ice until someone with a beefier right cartouche arrived to provide the aforementioned consequences. Then she popped into the chat room to let any available Pearlenes know what she'd done and why.

em and Captain Yossarian received the news and were displeased. They thought it unfair to remove default's ability to enter the realm for two hours, especially because it prevented him from defending or explaining himself in the Commune. So, they removed from him the affliction.

No one knows how he found out that he was free to re-enter Ankhet. It's a loose end in this tapestry tale because his fellow Pearlites say that they have no way to communicate with him outside of the game. We'll never know whether or not spectral passenger pigeons were involved, but somehow he found out and returned to action scant moments after Nefertiti placed him in time out.

Carnage ensued. Nefertiti was Dueled into an unlovely state. However the most dramatic hit was taken by Mikolaj, who was in the process of providing default with his Kauket-slaying reward. Rather than accept the punishment in the dignified tradition of his predecessors, he took more than nine million Favour from Mikolaj via Condemn. Can you dig it, girlfriends?

Needless to say, civic-minded Mikolaj did not receive this attack as a blessing. He took it upon himself to Exorcise default and set short term conditions for release.

default did not stick around. He chose Ennui as a way to avoid dealing with the fallout from his outburst. In his wake endures a lengthy Topic, bearing his name, regarding various issues raised by this string of events. It stands as no surprise that the first post is Kalm's original request for information.

em, the Captain and the Pearlinators were called on the carpet to answer questions. The sub-conversations ranged from civil to bitchy and roundabout again. There were obvious efforts to communicate in a civil manner and moments of less lovely behavior. Accusations and challenges and feints and ripostes abounded. All of you lovely sandle stars are free to trot trot trot to the Underworld for the details. Mama's hands are getting tired.

But why does all of this matter? Well, I don't really know for sure, except that the culturally obsessive can have a field day with such tasty morsels as:

- Who is responsible to respond when a community standard has been violated?

- What happens when someone refuses to explain their actions?

- If one of your allies gets punished and you undo it, what responsibility do you bear for what happens afterwards?

- What happens when a player keeps creating and Ennui-ing disciples who behave in anti-social ways?

- Is it ok to be sarcastic or snarky in a serious discussion?

- What the hell is up with the whole 'bot' story? Do the Oracles need to do something more? Is there something more to be done?

- What are the limits of loyalty?

- Is there ever an excuse for spandex apparel outside of athletic or performance settings?

- Does apologizing for a mistake make a disciple look weak or strong?

There are lots more questions, but this seems like a good starter kit. Fly, be free, contemplate, discuss.