Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

23 February, 2006

David Sirlin stepped in it
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 10:11 PM

Since I’m neither an executive at a large corporation with nothing better to do than post in my blog, nor have I just left my job and have nothing better to do than post in my blog, (just kidding, guys ;) so I’m a bit late to the party. What party? The party bashing on David Sirlin’s recent article on Gamasutra.

What was his sin? He passed harsh judgment on WoW (and, by extension, all online RPGs) and claimed it was teaching people bad lessons. Unfortunately, he misses the point in almost all his criticism.

So, here’s my bash against him.

Well, not really. I’m actually going to try not to be to much of an asshole (stop laughing), because David Sirlin’s a pretty smart guy. He’s got a website full of really great design discussions. I highly recommend checking his stuff out; he’s really bright when it comes to his areas of expertise.

But, unfortunately, it appears he’s a bit out of his depth when talking about online RPG design. He also shows a rather shocking side of things, considering WoW is intended to be “casual friendly”. Of course, if you dig down a bit into his complaints, you start to see some of the real issues that online developers struggle with on a regular basis.

With that, let me give two caveats. First, this isn’t to say that some of WoW’s systems aren’t horribly, horribly broken. WoW’s PvP “honor” system David Sirlin references in his article does have so many flaws in it that it makes an easy target. I could also generalize this and agree that nearly every game has some system in the game that basically sucks. My second caveat is that each player is different. Although I said I was going to bash on his article, I think his responses are entirely valid as his opinion. The real problem here is that Mr. Sirlin looks at his own feelings and believes this is true for everyone else. I’m a bit surprised he falls into this trap, given his very intelligent articles on design. But, once you consider that he was a world-class Street Fighter 2 champion, some of his complaints start to be understandable; perhaps online RPGs aren’t for him, despite playing for over 2 years….

Now, I can’t really fault his premise here. Raph’s book establishes that games are about learning. Some may argue that games can be just about entertainment, but that’s an argument for another post. For now, let’s accept that games can teach and people can learn from games. The problem here is that I don’t think the lessons learned are the wrong ones, or that the game is responsible for teaching people these “wrong lessons”.

Let’s start with the first issue, spread between two different numbers: Time > skill is… fundamentally bad. Mr. Sirlin argues that this situation is unfair, and that a Street Fighter player doesn’t expect to level Chun Li up to 60th level before she can compete. Yet, he seems to ignore that there are many games where you are expected to level up a character (although very few of them are available at the arcade). What kind of game would Dragon Warrior have been if you could have waltzed right up to the end boss, pulled off an amazing combo, and won the game right then? Perhaps Mr. Sirlin would have enjoyed it, but I’m pretty sure I would not have. Part of the fun was going around collecting the items, learning about the world, and leveling up. Yes, even gaining levels was fun because you could wander along the “border” where harder monsters were, trying your luck against the harder enemies (in other words, taking on more risk to enhance the fun. Online RPGs are an extension of these single-player RPGs, so you have the experience earning and all the same things. (And, you could argue that these mechanics aren’t proper for an online game, but that’s yet another post for another time.)

Now, David Sirlin did clarify his point in a comment on Raph’s Blog, saying that what irked him was the sense of entitlement: that people who spent more time in the game deserve better rewards. Unfortunately, this attitude isn’t unique or even necessarily reinforced by the game itself. Lots of people feel entitled to things. People with college degrees feel entitled to a well-paying job. People who pay taxes feel entitled to government services. People who have paid the cashier feel entitled to food at McDonald’s. In some cases, these feelings of entitlement are understandable; other times, they are silly. (And, I have to agree that a sense of entitlement is one of the the things that irks me as a game administrator, as well.)

But, I’d also argue that it is the players are the ones leading this charge that time is more important that skill, not the developers. Most guilds have a system called DKP to reward people that spend more time in the game and go on raids more frequently. The game does not require this of players, they have set up this system themselves. I would take this to mean that players think this is the fairest way to reward people, based on time spent.

He also claims that this lesson isn’t applicable to the offline world. Mr. Sirlin might want to look up the word “seniority” to learn that there are applications for this outside of WoW. And, sometimes for very good reasons.

His next point is that Group > Solo. Claiming to be an introvert, he says he doesn’t like being forced to interact with other people. As a fellow introvert, I have to disagree that this feeling is universal. One of the reasons why introverts dislike interacting with people is because it tires them out. Personally, I find that interacting with people online is much less taxing, and I actually quite enjoy socializing online even though I can only do it in limited doses offline. I consistently rank high on the Socializer aspect in those tests. (I still recommend the wonderful book, The Introvert Advantage if you want to understand more about introverts and extroverts.) So, again I think he is taking his own experiences and trying to make them universal when this isn’t the case.

He further argues that this lesson doesn’t apply to the offline world, again, saying that Einstein did his best work alone. However, there are some easy counters to this. A group of 40 construction workers will almost certainly complete a project sooner than a single construction worker will. Obviously, something like patching a hole in a wall doesn’t require 40 people, but we need buildings constructed in addition to holes patched.

Of course, to be fair, there are many other people that argue about this. “Forced” grouping was a continuous source of ire for Jeff Freeman . Some people don’t enjoy grouping, and perhaps someone will make a game for them. Well, a game even more solo-friendly than WoW….

Next, he complains about guilds, but this is really related to his group and solo argument in the previous point. I’m going to have to share Scott Jenning’s reaction in his blog entry: a bit of puzzlement. We talk about online games and how the strengths are the community. Here you have someone that doesn’t want to join a guild, theoretically a group of people that share his interests. I guess if your interests are avoiding other people, it’s hard to form an association. ;) It’s also puzzling when you consider the group vs. solo complaint, given that WoW is one of the most solo-friendly games until you get to the highest levels. I doubt he would have gotten past level 2 in old-school EQ1! But, what does this say when most of our hard-core players think WoW is a bit too solo-friendly, yet someone else thinks it’s not solo-friendly enough! Can we really cater to all the audiences here?

But, finally, we get to the point that I will have to savage Mr. Sirlin over: the Terms of Service (ToS). He brings up the old argument: it’s always the developer’s fault if players exploit bugs, and players should not be regulated or punished for exploiting bugs or weaknesses in the game. The problem is that he is treating this as a game, not a service. Since you have many, many people playing you have to treat these issues differently. When one person does can affect the experience your other customers have, so you have to have some rules to protect your other customers. Someone who ruins the game for other people by exploiting a bug needs to be treated as a detriment to your other customers. Establishing ground rules for what is acceptable and what is not is a basic element of defining the service and managing players’ expectations.

Mr. Sirlin also simplifies the matter too much. One of my basic rules in online game design is that code cannot determine intent. There’s a difference between a clever strategy and a repeated exploit, and it often comes down to intent. Perhaps I’m running from a monster and I duck around a large rock, and the monster is unable to get around that rock to kill me. This is a clever strategy that I used to avoid the monster. But, if I set things up so that I can hide behind the rock and still damage the monster with no risk to myself, this is an exploit. If developers were to remove that potential exploit, they would have to remove the clever strategy as well and the game is diminished. So, instead, developers will forbid behavior they feel is exploitative while still allowing clever strategies to be used.

I think that he did not consider this position very carefully. Let me provide an example that Mr. Sirlin might find more familiar. Let’s say there’s a Street Fighter II tournament. Let’s say I find a debug code that a programmer left in that allows me to press a button sequence to automatically kill my opponent, and I can do it fast enough to win every fight. Would this still be a fair tournament? Or, would most of the participants feel cheated? What would happen when people learned the code themselves and started using it? Tournaments would degenerate into people inputting that code as fast as possible, getting it done a split second before their opponent. Is this really so far removed from actually playing the game that rewards split-second timing? I believe that David Sirlin would find this to be detrimental to the game, and I think the wonderful culture that formed around Street Fighter tournament competitions would have died as soon as this would have happened. I don’t think it would have been wrong to install a rule that people in a tournament could not use this trick in order to maintain the spirit of competition in the game.

Of course, once again I have to admit there is a kernel of truth in this part of his rant. Sometimes game developers over use the rules because players aren’t playing the game the way they envision. I talked about this in a previous post, “What is an exploit?” You definitely want to get rid of exploits, but sometimes player creativity should be rewarded. If you want to discourage that type of behavior, well, that’s what patches are for.

In the end, I think that the article does mostly miss the point. Yet, I think if we really examine things and dig down, we can recognize some issues lurking beneath the surface. What can we do as designers to address the real issues? That’s a question most of us online developer struggle with on an ongoing basis.

Next Post: »


  1. (And, you could argue that these mechanics aren’t proper for an online game, but that’s yet another post for another time.)

    Just for the record, I think that only rewarding time commitment is a bit foolish in online games. As someone who has less time to enjoy games as I did when I was younger, I really wish that games didn’t require so much dedication. My WoW account was canceled since I cannot dedicate enough time to go on the big raids. One of my big motivations was to reduce the time commitment required in Meridian 59 so that I could still play on a regular basis.

    I’ll give a long post sometime in the future. But, for now, there’s my general opinion.

    Have fun,

    Comment by Psychochild — 23 February, 2006 @ 10:26 PM

  2. No, I really don’t have anything better to do while between jobs!

    Comment by Scott — 23 February, 2006 @ 10:38 PM

  3. I was just reading Slashdot, and someone had a link to this piece: Software Bugs Can Be Lethal

    One quote stood out:

    When Neumann’s group worked with NASA on software for the space shuttle, developers were so careful about bugs that they produced just three lines of code per day, an unthinkable pace in an industry where a major application may have a million lines of code.

    Three lines of code per day?!? Yikes. Figure how long it would take to write an online RPG at that rate. There’s a reason why online game developers allow the Terms of Service to stand in for bug-free code: because bug-free code simply isn’t possible under reasonable schedules and costs.

    Comment by Psychochild — 24 February, 2006 @ 2:04 AM

  4. I don’t believe that stat, Brian.

    Some of the military systems that are developed in this very building are also life&death matters.

    They turn out a lot more than 3 lines of code per day. The difference mainly seems to be that the size of test and review teams normally doubles that of the development team. And if there are issues, they get found at the design stage, the implementation stage or the test stage.

    And after that, there’s the end-to-end testing. And if it’s wrong, you do it again. From the top.

    Unit testing 4tw.

    Comment by Cael — 24 February, 2006 @ 2:53 AM

  5. Okay, maybe i do believe that stat, but only if it’s three lines of code per member of the project team per day over the entire length of the project.

    Comment by Cael — 24 February, 2006 @ 2:57 AM

  6. Whoa, whoa, whoa. If you like to socialize online, but not in real life then you are not an introvert, so dismissing his concerns is wrong. You describe a shy person, not an introvert. An introvert is someone who is focused internally, on themselves, and their thoughts. Introverts do not avoid social situations because they are afraid or nervous or “get tired” or whatever. They simply do not focus on external things, including other people.

    Introverts are the people who will play in a group, but don’t say much. Their conversations with the group tend to be limited to relevant and factual information (“I’m pulling the next mob now”, or “wait a sec, need mana”), but without any random socializing talk (“so what do you think of them nerfing whatever?”, or “is this your first character?”).

    Introverts dislike having to depend on other people to be able to advance, and that is a perfectly valid concern, and a perfectly valid play style. Calling yourself an introvert and then saying “nope, us introverts love socializing” is like me pretending I am gay and saying “nope, us gays love being marginalized and dicriminated against”.

    Comment by Hank — 24 February, 2006 @ 12:40 PM

  7. You describe a shy person, not an introvert.

    Er, about the last thing most people would describe me as is “shy”.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy. They don’t hate people. They actually don’t even have to hate socializing. It’s more of a question of what they prefer to do and what makes them feel good. This isn’t to say that there aren’t people who are shy, that do hate people and socializing, but this isn’t just because they’re introverted.

    However, you are partially correct in that introverts focus internally more than externally. One of the reasons for this is because of what our brain chemistry gives “rewards” for. For introverts, we get neurochemical rewards for our internal focus, whereas extroverts get it from interacting with people. This means that in a social situation, the extrovert is getting neurochemical encouragement to keep going whereas the introvert has to keep their focus external, and this can be very tiring. Introverts that are aware of this can feel out their limits and learn to take a bit of time away from everything in highly social situations to get a boost. This is why I can go to large conferences as an introvert, but you might sometimes find me sitting by myself or wandering around aimlessly for a while.

    Every introvert is different, just as every person is different; there’s no “one description fits all” here. Comfort levels in dealing with other people can vary, so it’s hard to make blanket sweeping statements and expect them to be 100% accurate. On the other hand, an introvert can learn how to extrovert and deal with people. The trick is, as I said above, to learn your limits and learn how to slip away a bit and get refreshed in order to extrovert more later.

    Anyway, as I recommended in my post above, I highly encourage anyone interested in this to read The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D. I found the book absolutely fascinating on multiple levels because the author goes into detail on the psychological, physiological, and practical levels of introversion. For example, the books explains the neurochemical rewards system in more detail than I really want to go into here. Overall, it really helped me learn more about myself as an introvert, and how to work with other introverts effectively.

    One of the reasons why I like socialization online is because I’m a fast typist. I can take a bit to think of something to say, then I can type it up and not be significantly behind in the conversation. I don’t have the physical presence of people wearing on me and I can compose my thoughts easier. I suspect that many of the introverts you refer to that don’t “say” much would actually converse a bit more if they could type faster. This is also one reason why voice chat may not be the cure-all everyone thinks it is, because it could once again marginalize many of the introverts who put more thought behind their words.

    Some more detail for everyone.

    Comment by Psychochild — 24 February, 2006 @ 4:15 PM

  8. The general consensus seems to be that Sirlin, despite quite a large number of good articles, is in need of a snorkel when wading in the MMO pool of design talk. He falls prey to the most frequent credibility reducing mistake that I observe when people talk about what an MMO needs–a self-centered viewpoint. “Massively Multiplayer” implies that you are going to have a large number of players… so obviously there will be many different playstyles.

    Most people who have played WoW agree that it’s the most solo-friendly, highly-successful (qualified in deference to M59) MMO in existance. Sirlin says, “You can forget self-reliance, because you won’t get far in World of Warcraft without a big guild.” and continues to try and convince his readers that unless you are in the 40-man super raids, your character is doomed to failure.

    Lots of people who have solo’d/PUG’d to 60 so he HAS to be talking about end-game failure. I wonder if he hasn’t looked at the PvP reward gear yet or was just omitting mentioning them out of convenience. You don’t need a guild to get the faction and ranking required for these items, you just need to put the time in to get the level required (and this game’s time is far less than that of its competitors.) There’s no doubt that the ultimate gearsets from the raids are better than the top-end pvp gear… BUT NOT THAT MUCH. I guarantee that in combat a clearheaded and skilled PvPer with the gear that is obtained outside MC BWL and AQ will not be at a huge disadvantage vs. the raid-all-day character with his uber gear–mostly due to the fact that the person in the PvP gear with no time to raid will have more PvP experience.

    A hard-core instance runner will have the great gear, but will probably get out-driven by his counterpart hard-core PvPer. The hard-core PvPer without the huge guild will not have the instance gear, but will still do fine at his chosen style of gameplay… It seems to me that WoW allows for either style of gameplay.

    As far as his views on TOS… what is he talking about?? If the devs really did what he wanted.. spent time making sure that no “creative uses of magic” were possible, there would be WAY more people bitching (him included?) that there were no content patches, no seasonal events… TOS is there to keep players inside a set of rules so that the game experience can be made better due to there being time to keep the game growing.

    Plus, at the end of the day you’re paying to be a member… if you join a country club you pay to be a member and you damn well follow the rules they lay out or they expel you. Why do so many people think that their MMO provider owes them something other than allowing them to play? If they’re not fixing bugs, and not giving you new content you stop paying them.

    I suppose that as an article, Sirlin’s writing was majorly successful as it has lots of people on fire, thinking, and discussing… but as far as a criticism, I–as so many others do–think it’s mostly inaccurate.

    Comment by Norin — 24 February, 2006 @ 4:36 PM

  9. Mr. Sirlin Sheeps You

    A few days ago Gamasutra posted an article by David Sirlin, Street Fighter Guru Extraordinaire, called World of Warcraft Teaches the Wrong Things. I recommend reading this well written article, and of course I recommend reading the backlash articles that

    Trackback by VirginWorlds — 24 February, 2006 @ 6:21 PM

  10. Norin wrote:
    I wonder if he hasn’t looked at the PvP reward gear yet or was just omitting mentioning them out of convenience.

    Actually, he did mention that. He also pointed out that you have to compete with obsessive people who can spend 10 hours or more per day PvPing. You just can’t compete with that if you want to have any sort of life outside of the game, or are lucky enough to be on a server without the obsessives like that. From everything I’ve seen and heard, you’ll probably spend less time getting the highest tier of PvE equipment than you would working up the ranks to get the top rank of PvP equipment in WoW.

    Of course, I’ve always hated level-based PvP, and class-based PvP isn’t all that great, either. WoW’s PvP left me wanting.

    Comment by Psychochild — 24 February, 2006 @ 8:57 PM

  11. David Bowman wrote an editorial for the fine game review site relating to David Sirlin’s article. Bowman brings up a few good points, like why not focus on real issues like “Might makes right” or “killing is the only fun thing to do” that all games are largely guilty of instead of the ones brought up? Another interesting point of view.

    Comment by Psychochild — 24 February, 2006 @ 10:22 PM

  12. Oh yeah, and I type very fast. It has nothing to do with being able to think fast and compose my thoughts, that isn’t introvert specific behaviour. I simply do not find value in idle chatter with people. Wether its people in front of me, or on the phone, or online doesn’t matter.

    By definition, if you score high as a socializer, you are not an introvert.

    Comment by Hank — 25 February, 2006 @ 8:09 AM

  13. By definition, if you score high as a socializer, you are not an introvert.

    This is a common misunderstanding. Extroverts are not necessarily high socializers just as introverts are not necessarily quiet and shy.

    It’s got to do with the way you process information and manage energy.

    Anyone who’s ever met me would never call me a “traditional” introvert yet introvert I am. I can do the conventions and conferences and I network better than most. But it’s exhausting for me and that’s what makes me an introvert. Also, I’ll spend weeks to months mulling over my role in any one situation.

    Extrovert gains energy from the crowd and socializing. They love the less deep conversations and can easily hit person after person and event after event and don’t want to or see the value in introspection and tearing apart the details of every nuance of every conversation.

    It’s got nothing to do with outgoing vs. shy.

    Comment by Ophelea — 25 February, 2006 @ 2:49 PM

  14. Note as blog owner: While I don’t want to discourage useful discussion, the definition of what is and is not an introvert is now considered off-topic in the comments for this entry. Discussions of introversion as they relate to either the original article or my entry above are still on-topic, but I encourage people to consider what you post before posting.

    As always, I reserve the right to delete or modify comments at my discretion to keep discussions fruitful. Again, I don’t want to discourage useful conversation, but this discussion about introversion is really tangential to the discussion.

    Oh, and discussions about this specific comment will be deleted as well.

    Let’s keep discussions on-topic and interesting.


    Comment by Psychochild — 25 February, 2006 @ 4:11 PM

  15. I think most of the objections to “forced grouping” are not from the “grouping”, no, they are because of the “forced.” Sometimes i feel like a teamy, and sometimes i don’t. I liked the soloability of WoW. I also liked being able to group, but only when i wanted to group. Being forced to group in order to accomplish anything was one of the reasons why i quit.

    Comment by Mikyo — 22 May, 2006 @ 10:30 PM

  16. Also, the “time vs skill” debate doesn’t quite make sense to me. You don’t win loot or xp or levels on the tennis court. However, if you only practice for a few hours a week, would you expect to have a fair match against someone who trains for a couple of hours every day? I suppose almost all of us know the adage, “Prior preparation prevents poor performance?”

    Every fight requires skill, the question should be “WHICH skills does it require?” Some of us like to “twitch” while others prefer to accumulate “levels” and uber gear. Both are skills, only different KINDS of skills.

    Hmmm, not sure i am explaining this very well. Does it make sense at all?

    Comment by Mikyo — 22 May, 2006 @ 10:42 PM

  17. I wonder if it may be a mistake to even consider a MMOG as a “virtual world.” Perhaps a “virtual sports league?”

    Comment by Mikyo — 23 May, 2006 @ 12:19 AM

  18. Another random thought since i can’t sleep, blah. PVP fighting will never be balanced very well in the current MMOG fashion. It’s fundamental error is the idea that winners should be rewarded with permanent powerups. That only makes it likely that winners will continue to win, while losers get nowhere. Consider a football league where first draft choices were given to the top ranked teams, instead of the low ranked. DUH!

    PvP players seem to want a system that will do incompatible things. They want to climb the ladder, reach the top, and then STAY there. But if it is easy to stay on top, then nobody will be able to move up, right?

    *Yawn, stretch, blink*

    Comment by Mikyo — 23 May, 2006 @ 3:11 AM

  19. It’s fundamental error is the idea that winners should be rewarded with permanent powerups.

    This is something that I have tried to avoid in Meridian 59. Most games do have a positive feedback loop, allowing winners to continue winning by gaining more power. In Meridian 59, winners get very little. Even though your whole inventory drops on death, most people can only grab a few select items if they are properly equipped for battle. (Of course, mules are an issue, but both the winner and the loser can use and abuse these equally.)

    On the other hand, I think it is necessary for the losers to lose a bit. This provides some consequences for battle, some meaning for losing. The lose can avoid the winner for a bit, or use allies to strike back. If nothing changes, then the combat becomes meaningless and, well, nothing changes! ;)

    My thoughts,

    Comment by Psychochild — 23 May, 2006 @ 4:14 AM

  20. Yes, that sounds very nice. The flaw isnt the gain or loss, the flaw is the permanence. I assume the M59 gear is neither as uber, nor as hard to replace as WoW gear would be. Thus, gaining or losing some inventory is only a temporary consequence. :)

    Comment by Mikyo — 23 May, 2006 @ 4:49 AM

  21. Still awake, blah, need more prozac.

    Perma What?

    Roleplaya the Paladin, being a noble chap, chose to defend a narrow bridge against a horde of beasts while his companions escaped. A heroic end, but an end nonetheless. The bard composed a song in his honor. The dwarf chiseled a small monument. The priestess summoned nearby villagers to pray for his poor soul. Roleplaya will be missed. But life goes on. Soon a stranger arrived in town. Roleplesse, the young Druidess, has a promising career awaiting her.

    Metagama, the halfelven monk/rogue, also had a promising career as a spotted snipe hunter. Until the day he discovered an obscure webscroll, from which he learned that each striped snipe drops approximately 3.1416 silver pieces more than each spotted snipe. Alas, striped snipes are also a bit meaner. Metagama was soon mouldering in his grave. Undaunted, Metagama_2.0, the strangely familiar halfelven monk/rogue soon rejoined his companions. After a few hours of “accelerated leveling” his talents and equipments were virtually identical to those of Metagama. None of the townsfolk even noticed his brief absence.

    Which character “died?” Was the death “permanent?”

    Without roleplaying, death has no meaning. It is simply an inconvenience, equivalent to a speeding ticket, or a brief detention in the penalty box. It is not the “permanence” or lack of permanence that makes death meaningfull, it is the roleplaying.

    Comment by Mikyo — 23 May, 2006 @ 7:35 AM

  22. Many of your examples show a fundamental misunderstanding of sirlin’s points. Just as a small example, you show no comprehension of what fighting game tournaments are like.

    Quick example: The “one button kill” thing. If you bother to read his articles properly, you’ll notice this kind of game is a game that is degenerate and pointless. The solution? Play a better competitive game. There are many others. But you don’t want to not play WoW? WoW can patch problems this glaring, however.

    =/ bleh, the entire thing reeks of misunderstanding, particularly in the topic of fighting games.

    Comment by pictish — 11 July, 2006 @ 6:35 AM

  23. Wow, this post has some longevity. People searching for Sirlin’s name, perhaps?

    Unfortunately, pictish, I think you are the one not understanding. Sirlin’s original article was about online games, and my post above focuses on those. I made the observation that his post was mostly about how online games weren’t like fighting games. I brought a few examples in to show how they are different (or similar in some areas).

    For example, the “one button kill” thing (which wasn’t one button, I said it was a sequence of moves) goes to show that exploits aren’t fair. If such an exploit were found in a fighting game, then it would be perfectly valid for a tournament to say, “You can’t use that move,” and to watch for it being used. Just because the move exists does not mean that the exploit should be allowed. Similarly, in online games, we say in the Terms of Service (ToS) that you can’t use exploits. We do this for the same reason a tournament might disallow an exploit: to keep things fun. I think both cases are perfectly reasonable.

    And, yes, WoW can fix the problem just like the fighting game manufacturer could send out new boards for the arcade machine. Both actions have a cost associated with them. Sometimes it’s easier to tell people not to exploit, or avoid playing with people who do. Since we run our games as a service, it is up to us game administrators to make sure that people who want to play “fair” aren’t interrupted by people who exploit. This is the simple reason why the ToS restrictions exist.

    I’d recommend reading both articles again and then making a point. There is more understanding there than you might have first though.

    Have fun,

    Comment by Psychochild — 11 July, 2006 @ 7:45 PM

  24. Zombie thread!

    Sirlin posted a followup to this discussion 2 years later:

    He specifically addressed this post in one of his comments, but it appears that comment is lost to the ages now.

    Comment by Psychochild — 20 June, 2008 @ 12:45 AM

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