The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Some more musings on the WikiMUD

Told you those posts were rather geeky.

The WikiMUD entry has garnered some attention (and quickly too! I'm surprised anyone reads this anymore). But it was wlofie who brought to my attention the concept known as a MUSH.

I was aware that there did exist some MUDs that allowed players to create rooms, but imagine my surprise when I found out that there exist MUDs (or a MUSH, as they're called) that allow for the creation of objects as well as actions (just proving that there really are no new ideas in this industry, just fresh approaches) although the creation is limited to a certain class of player and there appear to be some restrictions in what you can and can't have objects do (and in the MUSH I'm trying out, you can't copy yourself—how restrictive!).

In discussing how I envision the WikiMUD working, and how easy it would be for a player to make a nusance of themselves, wlofie asked, “How easy would it be for my to flood all the rooms with cyanide gas?”

I thought for a second. “It'd be easy enough to flood a room with cyanide gas. Just add the appropriate attribute to each player in the room, and add the action of gassing anyone else that comes in to the room. But to do the entire WikiMUD?” Thought for anothe second. “Just make an object that travels from room to room, adding cyanide gas to each as it passes through.”

“So I would have to do it manually?”

“Well, in a manner or speaking. Any rooms you create could be set to go off at the same time, but for rooms you didn't create, you would have to add that to each room.” And in looking over the MUSH stuff, while it looks like you could add cyanide gas to a room you created, you certainly couldn't to a room you didn't create, nor could you create an object that moves and add cyanide gas to each room it goes through.

We also discussed security, or rather the lack of security. Which explains why Wikis can work (one reason: there's no challenge to destroying a Wiki) but this is a game. There's a level of interaction in a WikiMUD that you don't get in a WikiWikiWeb, and thus more enjoyment out of flooding the place with virtual cyanide gas. But I think that the things that make a Wiki work (anyone can edit anything) might keep the level of maliciousness down. Yes, I can write an object that wanders around filling each room with permenent cyanide gas, until someone else hacks themselves to be immune, and hacks the cyanide adding object to remove cyanide (and hack any other cyanide adding objects to remove cyanide). Which, to tell the truth, sounds interesting!

And guess what? We now have Core Wars taken to another level (and this is just one unintended, but interesting, consequence of a WikiMUD).

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