Generation G

To the Editor: I just read Dave Thomas’ alleged “profile” of me. How utterly sad that this man, Dave Thomas, considers himself a journalist.

-Jack Thompson

To the Editor: The issue was great, but I’d like to point out two observations.

The first is the general trend this exposes. While griefing occurs predominantly in MMOGs, it also occurs to a lesser degree in older games. From the original Diablo to WoW, griefing has been in the gaming community for a long time. It seems in the articles that it only exists in new games, which is not true. It was just harder before to interfere with the game – a good thing in terms of giving gamers more power, as Mark Wallace shows.

Secondly, this indicates that the gamer society is becoming more mainstream. Griefing means there’s people out there that don’t care about the game but play anyway – which is a good thing. Why? Because what the gaming community needs right now is exposure more than all else. Expose that the gaming world is a living, working world, as with Second Life, and not just for 17-year-olds living in their parents’ basement, as the popular conception is. Break the stereotypes and people like Jack Thompson won’t matter anymore.

-Sean Li

To the Editor: [Regarding “The Day the Grid Disappeared”] The article was fascinating and the point about needing some sort of system of law, as opposed to restructuring the physics, is well taken. It balances the human needs better.

I think one should not give up the physics solution too quickly, however. Replicating viruses work so well in computer systems since there is no real cost for duplicating things. In the real world duplication has real costs, be it energy, resources or time.

So why not introduce some sort of cost for replication in the virtual world? Some sort of effect that makes normal copying work unchanged, but forces waves of copying to slow right down to a crawl. That way normal freedoms are not impacted, while malicious copying is dampened.

One could consider schemes in which subsequent generations of objects need an ever increasing amount of delay between them. Or perhaps the act of generation would require some sort of investment of some resource (money? health? percentage of server CPU?) that needs to be paid before proceeding. The point is that there are things that can be tried.

Sure there might still be ways to hack things, but at least it will not happen so trivially, and perhaps any violations can happen more visibly, so that the “cops” of the (soon to be invented) legal system can then jump in.

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-Ray Blaak

To the Editor: I was just reading the escapist for the first time, excellent stuff! Good read.

Just thought I’d correct a couple of things in “A Deadly Dollar,” I’m the CEO of Guiding Hand Social Club and one of the people that had a rather big part to play in the Ubiqua Seraph job.

Anyway, Mirial lost an Apocalypse Navy Issue, she was killed by our operative Arenis Xemdal in an Apocalypse Imperial Issue (two of a kind). The navy apoc isn’t all that special, worth over 2 billion ISK at the time, not really limited edition, unlike the imperial issue. Also we got paid up front, not upon completion of the job.

Nice article anyways, just nitpicking really. 😀

As to “The Great Scam” referred to, it’s just something the SomethingAwful people made up, based very loosely on real events (entirely different scam), changed to make it more entertaining than it actually was.

-Zeraph Dregamon

To the Editor: Normally, I am full of praise for your excellent web magazine (although I do feel it tends to have a bit of a MMOG obsession). But reading the item “Jerk On The Internet” in last week’s issue, I have felt compelled to write in and criticize it.

Put simply, it irks me that the writer feels the need to justify his obnoxious and antisocial behavior by cooking up some pseudo-scientific, self-aggrandizing reasoning for it, and worse, polluting an intelligent and entertaining gaming magazine with the results. The whole article reads like an elaborate confession as he attempts to rid himself of guilt by projecting reasons onto his moronic actions, even resorting to simply insulting those who are (quite reasonably) annoyed with him, by branding all Counter-Strike players as brattish 15-year-old gun nuts.

He doesn’t even stick to his excuses for his obnoxious habit; one minute he is “(fascinated by) human behavior,” the next he is doing it to teach those crazy counter-strikers to lighten up; the next it is a “multimedia art form.” Lastly, Shannon, if you’re reading this, please write something worthwhile with your evident talents instead of trying to find reasons to be a pain.

Otherwise, congratulations to all The Escapist staff and writers for putting together such an enjoyable, informative and polished weekly read.


To the Editor: Anyway you can make The Escapist a paper magazine delivered for a small fee? I like the feeling of opening my mailbox and being able to read something physical vs a computer screen. Plus, I like to read on the train.


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