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Old 01-11-2006, 08:04 PM   #341
KaVir
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Again you are ignoring critical distinctions.
No, the problem is that certain people are claiming IRE muds are "free to play" based on the literal meaning of the phrase, while at the same time arguing that other muds are not "free to play" based on their own additions to the definition.

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IRE can honestly and ethically claim that their games are free to play because they have made the games available to everyone for play at no charge.
So do most commercial muds. If I wanted to I could sign up for Gemstone IV right now, and play it for a month, completely free. I could create an account on Threshold and play it tonight if I wished, all without spending a cent.

I could even buy a copy of Guild Wars tomorrow, phone in to work sick, then play it for free as much as I liked - because as they advertise in their press releases, they provide "FREE online play".

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Note what "free to play" does not say: it does not say that you will get all the advantages of a paying player; it does not say you are guaranteed to enjoy the game as much as paying players; it does not say that you won't have to devote extra time for certain achievements that other players can perhaps purchase.
Nor does it say that you'll be able to keep your character for more than a month, or that there won't be any registration or purchase fee.

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Threshold does not make its game available for free to everyone.
Yes, it does - all you have to do is connect and you can start playing. Remember, "free to play means free to play. The term doesn't imply anything else besides simply telling you that you can play something for free."
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:58 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 11 2006,20<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]So do most commercial muds.  If I wanted to I could sign up for Gemstone IV right now, and play it for a month, completely free.  I could create an account on Threshold and play it tonight if I wished, all without spending a cent.
But why do such games not advertise themselves as "free to play"?  Probably because, in the US at least, offers for free trial periods are generally required to be clearly explained as such so that consumers know what the length of the trial period is, what the conditions of eligibility for such trial periods are, and what, if anything, the consumer needs to do to avoid being charged for continued services after the trial period is over. For example, if my cable TV company advertises an offer for a "free" upgrade to my standard cable service, they have to let me know for how long the upgrade will be free and what action I have to take to cancel the service to avoid being billed for it when the trial period runs out.

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I could even buy a copy of Guild Wars tomorrow, phone in to work sick, then play it for free as much as I liked - because as they advertise in their press releases, they provide "FREE online play".
Guild Wars does not advertise themselves as "free to play." They very clearly qualify "FREE online play" to mean only that you will be allowed to access their servers for online play without having to pay a monthly fee, the assumption being, of course, that you have already purchased their game.  Unless they plan not to charge for their client either, Guild Wars is not free to play; the cost of play is the cost of the client required to play. This is not at all the same as saying that you are offering to let anyone play at no cost.
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:50 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,15:19)
Oh and I find it funny that you chastise me for misspelling one single word....

...[T]he definition of illiterate is being unable to read and write or showing a lack of formal education. The definition does not make any references to misspelling a word. In that case I guess you are as illiterate as I am for the misuse of a word.
If you'd misspelled just one word, that'd be an error. However, your posts demonstrated numerous misspellings and gramattical errors as well as your ignorance of the meaning of the word "communist" which justified an assessment of your literacy as such.

In fact, you just gave another example by showing a limited knowledge of the word "illiterate" itself.

Taken from http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/illiterate
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Originally Posted by
Main Entry: il·lit·er·ate
Pronunciation: (")i(l)-'li-t(&-)r&t
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin illiteratus, from in- + litteratus literate
1 : having little or no education; especially : unable to read or write
2 a : showing or marked by a lack of familiarity with language and literature b : violating approved patterns of speaking or writing
3 : showing or marked by a lack of acquaintance with the fundamentals of a particular field of knowledge
synonym see IGNORANT
Your lack of familiarity with the English language, as demonstrated by your frequent spelling, gramattical and contextual errors meets the definition of the word illiterate.  Hence my use of the term is correct, while your use of the word only further demonstrates your illiteracy through your failure to realize as much.  So, yes, you are illiterate.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:00 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by (PinkFloyd @ Jan. 11 2006,15:19)
You are playing the same game. When you log into the MUD the world is identical for each player. You have access to fight the same mobs, the same shops, the same guilds or whatnot.
It's not trying to play 2-on-5 baskteball, it's more like facing a team that has superior players to yours.

Still, your team is allowed to pay for free while the superior team has to pay up for a lot of upgrades. It does not change the fact you can play an unlimited amount of hours without being bothered to pay. That's free to play. You are mistaking the term with something along the lines of "free to play, but not equally".
To further the analogy, their team is not superior by nature, it's superior because they're not constrained to the same limitations, ie. not playing by the same rules and hence not really the same game, because they've paid money and you have not. They get unlimited fouls while five against you sends them the line for some free throws. And while you get one point for a free throw, they get four! That's not the same game.

And neither is paying credits versus "free-to-play". To make "free-to-play" accurate, it should be elaborated upon through the noting of limits. Then it becomes accurate.

Take care,

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Old 01-12-2006, 08:52 AM   #345
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But why do such games not advertise themselves as "free to play"?
You'd have to ask them that. But that's really completely irrelevent to the fact they are indeed "free to play", going by the literal meaning of that phrase. It's when you start adding your own implied meanings to the phrase that it becomes an issue, yet that's exactly what you've criticised others for doing.

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Guild Wars does not advertise themselves as "free to play."
They advertise themselves as having "FREE online play", which is effectively the same thing. Try doing a google search for "guild wars" and "free to play", and you'll see literally thousands of reviews and comments describing Guild Wars as being "free to play".

The phrase "free to play" does not mean "free to register and play", nor does it mean "free to download the client and to play". If you start trying to redefine it, then that's no different from claiming it means "free to play on a level playing field with those who pay".

I can understand someone wanting to use the literal meaning of the phrase. I can also see someone wanting to apply their own implied meaning to the phrase. But it is double standard when you apply your own implied meaning to other people's muds, while at the same time insisting that only the literal meaning should apply to yours.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:12 PM   #346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Atyreus @ Jan. 12 2006,03:58)
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I could even buy a copy of Guild Wars tomorrow, phone in to work sick, then play it for free as much as I liked - because as they advertise in their press releases, they provide "FREE online play".
Guild Wars does not advertise themselves as "free to play." They very clearly qualify "FREE online play" to mean only that you will be allowed to access their servers for online play without having to pay a monthly fee
True, it does qualify exactly what it means by "free", because it's quite clearly not a free game.  Considering Guild Wars is entirely online, the unqualified sentence would be as misleading as advertising Corn Flakes as "FREE to eat", or books as "FREE to read".

(FWIW, I like the "Commercial" / "Non-Commercial" distinction idea.)
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:51 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 12 2006,08:52)
I can understand someone wanting to use the literal meaning of the phrase.  I can also see someone wanting to apply their own implied meaning to the phrase.  But it is double standard when you apply your own implied meaning to other people's muds, while at the same time insisting that only the literal meaning should apply to yours.
I'm not attempting to apply a literal meaning to the phrase "free to play." I'm attempting to make a case for how it is can be expected to be understood in advertising (after all, this whole issue was set off by people accusing IRE of being dishonest and unethical for using the phrase "free to play" to advertise their games).

I'm not going to try to lawyer a line between what games can honestly, ethically, and legally advertise themselves as "free to play" and what games can't.  I'll I've done is make some observations on why certain games probably don't advertise themselves as free to play.

Guild Wars does NOT advertise themselves as "free to play."  Read their press release again.  Their offer for "FREE online play" is obviously qualified by the assumption that you have purchased their game (unless you want to assume that they are going to be distributing their client for free, in which case they would most definitely be "free to play").

Likewise Gemstone and Threshold have, as far as I am aware, no intention of letting people play their games for free beyond a limited time period and are, thus, probably not likely to advertise themselves as free games or as "free to play" games.  Given the obvious advantages of advertising something as free, we can only assume that they don't do so because they don't consider themselves to be in the business of providing "free to play" games. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if either game would make efforts to prevent a player from repeatedly opening new accounts just for the sake of playing for free if they detected such activity.  As I've explained, Threshold has rules in place that at least implicitly forbid such activity.

But, even if we were to accept limited-time free trials as an acceptable variant of the "free to play" claim, what does it matter?  If anything, this would just strengthen the argument that IRE is being completely honest and above-board when they advertise their games as "free to play," considering you are never in jeopardy of being prohibited from playing further if you choose not to pay for the services they offer.
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:42 PM   #348
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Well after reading this thread and getting bored with it around page 23 or so, I thought I'd chime in and add my 2 cents worth of babble.

I am Your Average Mud Player. I like to play MUDs; I have been playing MUDs for 7-8 years or so now. I always use TMS as a resource to find new MUDs to play.

Whenever I find a MUD that adveritses itself as a free to play MUD, I expect nothing more than being able to play that MUD without having to pay any sort of fee for an unlimited amount of time. Now if that same MUD also had some sort of system that allowed you to purchase credits to power-up your characters, I would still have to consider the MUD as free to play because it is an option, not a requirement. Though I will add that I would probably not play such a MUD for long because they playing field is not exactly equal (and I've quit the IRE games because of said reason).

Whether you like it or not, IRE is within their rights to advertise their games as free to play. I would support an idea like Valg's to label MUDs as commercial and non-commercial, but how about a simpler idea? If pay-to-play is one of the phrases available in the features section of a MUD listing, why not just add the phrase pay-for-perks and force all games (like IRE games) to add that to their features list?

I also wanted to respond to Kavirs' comments.

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So do most commercial muds.  If I wanted to I could sign up for Gemstone IV right now, and play it for a month, completely free.  I could create an account on Threshold and play it tonight if I wished, all without spending a cent.

..........

Yes, it does - all you have to do is connect and you can start playing.  Remember, "free to play means free to play. The term doesn't imply anything else besides simply telling you that you can play something for free."
Yes you could, but you would eventually be forced to play. You have taken meaning of free to play out of context. Just because a game offers a free trial does not make it free to play.

Furthermore if you wanted to create an account on Gemstone and use their free trial you would have to give them a credit card number. You could not keep creating free accounts on Gemstone without them eventually realizing what you were up to.
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:46 PM   #349
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Whenever I find a MUD that adveritses itself as a free to play MUD, I expect nothing more than being able to play that MUD without having to pay any sort of fee for an unlimited amount of time.
And I expect to be able to play it on an equal footing with all other players without having to pay any sort of fee. But I don't get to enforce my interpretation on other people any more than you do.

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Whether you like it or not, IRE is within their rights to advertise their games as free to play.
And whether or not you like it, so are most other commercial muds. The fact that they choose not to is something I appreciate, but that's another issue.

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You have taken meaning of free to play out of context.
No, I have taken it by its literal meaning. If Guild Wars advertised itself as "buy the game for $X, then play for free as much as you like", would you have a problem with that? If Threshold stated in its adverts "One-off registration fee of $50, then play for free as much as you like", would you find that misleading? If Gemstone IV posted an AD which stated "play for free for your first month", would you find that objectionable?
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:02 PM   #350
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And I expect to be able to play it on an equal footing with all other players without having to pay any sort of fee. But I don't get to enforce my interpretation on other people any more than you do.
Fair enough. However, your interpretation of it is a lot more specific than the term implies. Free to play is not limited to just playing on an equal footing with everyone else. It is a very general term, which can also include being able to play without paying a fee but having the option to upgrade yourself by paying real-life money.

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And whether or not you like it, so are most other commercial muds. The fact that they choose not to is something I appreciate, but that's another issue.
That again depends on your definition of free to play. If you are going to include Threshold and Gemstone as examples of MUDs that are free to play then I would not be in agreement with you.

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No, I have taken it by its literal meaning. If Guild Wars advertised itself as "buy the game for $X, then play for free as much as you like", would you have a problem with that? If Threshold stated in its adverts "One-off registration fee of $50, then play for free as much as you like", would you find that misleading? If Gemstone IV posted an AD which stated "play for free for your first month", would you find that objectionable?
No I would not find it objectionable because they are telling you upfront about any fees you have to incur. But you are getting off topic, the argument has been about the term free to play, not pay X now then play for free as much as you like. If they are advertising themselves as free to play without requiring you to pay how could you find that objectionable? Even if they do have an optional system of purchasing credits.
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:03 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Jan. 12 2006,02:50)
If you'd misspelled just one word, that'd be an error. However, your posts demonstrated numerous misspellings and gramattical errors as well as your ignorance of the meaning of the word "communist" which justified an assessment of your literacy as such.

Your lack of familiarity with the English language, as demonstrated by your frequent spelling, gramattical and contextual errors meets the definition of the word illiterate.  Hence my use of the term is correct, while your use of the word only further demonstrates your illiteracy through your failure to realize as much.  So, yes, you are illiterate.
Isn't it funny that those who spend their time criticizing others for spelling and grammar are usually the ones with a relatively weak command of it themselves?

Before you criticize someone for a "gramattical" error perhaps you ought to learn to spell first: grammatical.

Heh.

--matt

(Sorry I'm not participating in this discussion anymore. It's not that I don't care. It's just that I don't have time to read all 35 pages of this, and scrolled to this, currently the last page.)
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:02 PM   #352
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Fair enough. However, your interpretation of it is a lot more specific than the term implies.
And so is yours - which is the point I was trying to make. "Free to pay" implies simply that - the ability to play the game for free, and almost all muds (even commercial ones) provide this option in some capacity or another.

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No, I have taken it by its literal meaning. If Guild Wars advertised itself as "buy the game for $X, then play for free as much as you like", would you have a problem with that? If Threshold stated in its adverts "One-off registration fee of $50, then play for free as much as you like", would you find that misleading? If Gemstone IV posted an AD which stated "play for free for your first month", would you find that objectionable?

No I would not find it objectionable because they are telling you upfront about any fees you have to incur.
Exactly - and for that very same reason, I'm sure nobody would find it objectionable if the IRE muds advertised themselves as "free to play, but pay to compete".
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:03 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 12 2006,15:46)
No, I have taken it by its literal meaning.  If Guild Wars advertised itself as "buy the game for $X, then play for free as much as you like", would you have a problem with that?  If Threshold stated in its adverts "One-off registration fee of $50, then play for free as much as you like", would you find that misleading?  If Gemstone IV posted an AD which stated "play for free for your first month", would you find that objectionable?
Those are all fine uses of the phrase "free to play."  But as they all qualify themselves, I'm not sure what point they are supposed to serve as examples.  The original issue raised in this thread about the phrase "free to play" was about its unqualified use in IRE's advertising and whether or not such a use was dishonest, misleading, unethical or whatever.

Some of us were arguing that a game that doesn't ever charge you a thing to play can, without being dishonest or misleading, advertise itself as "free to play."  But at some point your argument seems to have evolved into a statement of the very obvious fact that "free to play" can, like many such phrases in the English language, be used to accurately describe a whole range of things depending on the context and the accompanying qualifiers.

I think this is what Protoss was getting at by suggesting you were taking "free to play" out of context. The whole point of the original argument was in the context of advertising by a company that does, in fact, let you play their games for as long as you want without ever being charged to play.

Also, your current arguments would seem to work against your earlier arguments about IRE's use of the phrase "free to play." Surely if Guild Wars can essentially claim "free to play once you've bought our client program," then IRE, which doesn't require any such purchase, can just claim "free to play."
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:05 PM   #354
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And so is yours - which is the point I was trying to make. "Free to pay" implies simply that - the ability to play the game for free, and almost all muds (even commercial ones) provide this option in some capacity or another.
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Exactly - and for that very same reason, I'm sure nobody would find it objectionable if the IRE muds advertised themselves as "free to play, but pay to compete".
I agree with your views on the second paragraph. However, taking in your views stated in the first paragraph, I'm sure nobody would find it objectionable if the IRE MUDs advertised themselves as "free to play" either. They way they have it now.
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:21 PM   #355
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Those are all fine uses of the phrase "free to play."  But as they all qualify themselves, I'm not sure what point they are supposed to serve as examples.
They serve as examples of how those muds could reasonably be classified as "free to play", despite not being what most people would consider "free to play".

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The original issue raised in this thread about the phrase "free to play" was about its unqualified use in IRE's advertising and whether or not such a use was dishonest, misleading, unethical or whatever.
Would you consider the muds I listed previously to be misleading if they only mentioned being "free to play"?  Well, there are people who feel the same way about IRE.

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Some of us were arguing that a game that doesn't ever charge you a thing to play can, without being dishonest or misleading, advertise itself as "free to play."
However there are many people who disagree with that view, just as there are people who disagree with my statements about Guild Wars being "free to play".

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But at some point your argument seems to have evolved into a statement of the very obvious fact that "free to play" can, like many such phrases in the English language, be used to accurately describe a whole range of things depending on the context and the accompanying qualifiers.
Because that was the exact argument used by a previous poster to explain why IRE muds are "free to play", despite the fact that they agreed it would be misleading simply to advertise it as "free".  My point was if you use that reasoning for one mud, it should be applied equally to all muds.

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Also, your current arguments would seem to work against your earlier arguments about IRE's use of the phrase "free to play."
Because my personal interpretation of "free to play" is more than the literal meaning of the phrase, as I explained a couple of posts back.

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Surely if Guild Wars can essentially claim "free to play once you've bought our client program," then IRE, which doesn't require any such purchase, can just claim "free to play."
No.  Going by the literal meaning, then both could argue that they are "free to play".  However I find that misleading in both cases, because I consider Guild Wars to be "free to play but pay for the client", Threshold to be "free to play but pay for registration" and the IRE muds to be "free to play but pay to compete".
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:24 PM   #356
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Protoss wrote:I agree with your views on the second paragraph. However, taking in your views stated in the first paragraph, I'm sure nobody would find it objectionable if the IRE MUDs advertised themselves as "free to play" either. They way they have it now.
Well actually quite a few people find it objectionable, for the very reasons you've stated you would find it objectionable were Guild Wars or Gemstone to list themselves as "free to play".
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Old 01-12-2006, 08:36 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 12 2006,20:24)
Well actually quite a few people find it objectionable, for the very reasons you've stated you would find it objectionable were Guild Wars or Gemstone to list themselves as "free to play".
Yes, but the people who find IRE labeling themselves as objectionable are very much in the minority compared to those who don't find it objectionable. Majority rules.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:35 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 12 2006,20:24)
Well actually quite a few people find it objectionable, for the very reasons you've stated you would find it objectionable were Guild Wars or Gemstone to list themselves as "free to play".
Google doesn't find it objectionable. The FTC doesn't find it objectionable. Where are all these objectors, aside from a few forum users? Seriously, show them to us. Show us all that it's something a lot of people object to rather than something you and a few other people object to?

I can show you that huge organizations, including the organization in charge of regulating the use of the word 'free' in the United States, approve. What can you show us? I'm not trying to be combative. I'm just saying: There are many large and in some cases (like Google) ubiquitously accepted and respected organizations (to the point where the name of the company is now a verb) backing our point of view. I'm showing you, in black and white, who is backing our point of view and just how absolutely standard it is. This shouldn't be controversial at all.

Can you do the same? Can you show us that your point of view has ANY significant backing aside from you and a few other forum users? I don't mean speculate. I don't mean, "Well, I'm sure people agree with me" as that is meaningless. As Protoss said, the meaning of a word ends up being defined by what a large majority of the population understands it to mean, and that, virtually indisputably as far as there is any evidence, includes how we use the word.

--matt
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:42 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 12 2006,20:21)
However I find that misleading in both cases, because I consider Guild Wars to be "free to play but pay for the client", Threshold to be "free to play but pay for registration" and the IRE muds to be "free to play but pay to compete".
But there's a significant difference between the first two examples and the last example. A client is required to play Guild Wars. Registration is required to play Threshold beyond about the first 100 hours. Paying to compete is NOT required to play IRE muds.

Guild Wars could be accused of false advertising if they simply advertised themselves as "free to play" without qualification. I'm not going to try and guess exactly where advertising regulations would fall on a game like Threshold claiming to be "free to play," but the fact that banks, internet service providers, porn sites, etc., adhere to pretty strict standards when advertising services with free trial periods, I think it's fairly safe to say that they'd be on questionable ground. On the other hand, IRE's use of the claim "free to play" is promising a free service in a manner that is widely understood and accepted by consumers (and, as has been pointed out, by the FTC). That a few vocal posters have decided to take issue with this fact doesn't make this any less true. Nor is there anything particularly arbitrary about accepting IRE's use of "free to play" but not some of the one's you've tried to argue would be legitimate by the same standards, particularly since the issue isn't the literal or implied meaning of the phrase itself but the use of the phrase in the context of advertising a service in a manner that most consumers would understand and accept as a fair claim.
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Old 01-13-2006, 04:02 AM   #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 12 2006,17:03)
Before you criticize someone for a "gramattical" error perhaps you ought to learn to spell first: grammatical.
*chuckle* I do know how to spell grammatical though I did find interesting that everytime I tested typing it, I double hit the "t". Makes me think I'm developing some sort of nervous problem since I also find myself inserting letters inadvertently in several other instances as well. Could chalk it up to typing too quickly but I find my fingers twitch toward the same movement even when I slow down a bit. Probably developing carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis or some nervous condition. :-/

Then again, maybe it's due to repeated exposure to poor spelling in banner ads ("duely") or maybe I'm just trying to "turn people's heads" because everyone knows that spelling errors impress people! I know with the case of my own MUD, I'm contemplating all sorts of advertisements with spelling errors in order to draw in thousands of players who are impressed by shoddy ads. *eyeroll* But that's a different example of spin-doctoring, not the case over the word "free" to describe commercial MUDs, even if the culprit is the same in both cases.

Interestingly, that same person is the one who repeatedly uses loaded words and phrases like "a few forum users" to denote those who disagree with him and claims to represent the majority by citing about the same number of people (or less if you don't count his employees) in his favor? Of course, he won't respond to this because he is "not participating in this discussion anymore" despite posting since making that remark. For someone who lies so often, you think he'd be better at it by now.

Take care,

Jason
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