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Old 10-02-2009, 04:17 PM   #101
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
I have avoided getting involved in this discussion because of how flamey it was from the get go, but this point needs to be made:

Coining a term does not give the "coiner" any control over its use or definition. To believe otherwise is not just silly but a recipe for a lifetime of frustration.

I am sure the makers of AIDS diet candy were not terribly happy when a fatal disease was given the same name (which subsequently drove their 50+ year old company out of business in short order).
No it doesn't give them control over the definition. But the original usage of the acronym or term will be adhered to stringently by the people who know of it's original use. Especially in tight-knit communities that MUDs are known for. Kavir has made the point, you call a DIKU a DIKU, a ROM is a ROM, etc. The same thing applies to the RPI acronym. Just because it's not code doesn't mean the term doesn't have requirements for it's usage which is defined in a certain manner by several MUDs that know of this original usage.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:43 PM   #102
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Coining a term does not give the "coiner" any control over its use or definition. To believe otherwise is not just silly but a recipe for a lifetime of frustration.

I am sure the makers of AIDS diet candy were not terribly happy when a fatal disease was given the same name (which subsequently drove their 50+ year old company out of business in short order).
Using a term with an established definition to describe something else in the same field only creates confusion.

To use your example, you won't find any doctors coining diseases with the acronym of AIDS because it causes confusion. Imagine if someone used the term to describe a genetic predisposition to catching the common cold. Would you like to be the patient that the doctor walks in and tells that they've "...got AIDS" or the person who contributes to research only discover it's for a cure for some obscure condition that just means someone gets the sniffles instead of the condition resulting from HIV? I doubt it.

Jason
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #103
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
To use your example, you won't find any doctors coining diseases with the acronym of AIDS because it causes confusion. Imagine if someone used the term to describe a genetic predisposition to catching the common cold. Would you like to be the patient that the doctor walks in and tells that they've "...got AIDS" or the person who contributes to research only discover it's for a cure for some obscure condition that just means someone gets the sniffles instead of the condition resulting from HIV? I doubt it.
my head just exploded trying to follow this.....

:-)
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:06 PM   #104
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by MudMann View Post
my head just exploded trying to follow this.....

:-)
LOL

In other words, Threshold's argument used an example involving an acronym being used in two completely different fields. That isn't the case with the term RPI where you've got an established term being used by others to describe something else in the same field (ie, text-based gaming). It would be akin to doctors using the term AIDS to refer to a head cold.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:03 PM   #105
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
To use your example, you won't find any doctors coining diseases with the acronym of AIDS because it causes confusion. Imagine if someone used the term to describe a genetic predisposition to catching the common cold. Would you like to be the patient that the doctor walks in and tells that they've "...got AIDS" or the person who contributes to research only discover it's for a cure for some obscure condition that just means someone gets the sniffles instead of the condition resulting from HIV? I doubt it.
Yet they did close to that with the 2008 "Swine Flu", by calling it H1N1, which describes several variants of the Influenza A virus. Some have had to take to calling it H1N1/09 to differentiate it.

You may all resume your former argument...
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:07 PM   #106
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Mabus View Post
Yet they did close to that with the 2008 "Swine Flu", by calling it H1N1, which describes several variants of the Influenza A virus. Some have had to take to calling it H1N1/09 to differentiate it.

You may all resume your former argument...
Don't even bother using facts or logic with talking to Prof. He still thinks the people who coin a term have some kind of magical and absolute control over how that term evolves or gets used in the future.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:27 PM   #107
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Don't even bother using facts or logic with talking to Prof. He still thinks the people who coin a term have some kind of magical and absolute control over how that term evolves or gets used in the future.
Once again you're arguing against the person rather than the facts. Just because most people think a spider is an insect doesn't make it an insect. Hence even if many people think RPI means anything they want it to mean doesn't mean they're correct either.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:29 PM   #108
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Don't even bother using facts or logic with talking to Prof. He still thinks the people who coin a term have some kind of magical and absolute control over how that term evolves or gets used in the future.
Oh I know. Let's just use logic and facts to state that any acronym is up for grabs. I'm going to start using PK as Player Knights. It will be used on my mud to describe players that are currently playing the highly ranked and rare knight class.

Forget about the years of usage as Player Kill. That's hogwash. I can use it anyway I want regardless of the established usage of the acronym for decades.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #109
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

If Delerak gets to use PK to mean Player Knights, then I feel we need to include Paradiddle Knuckling, which is a drummer technique for my game's bard class. My game is definitely not PK - killing players is strictly against the rules. We do have CvC, which is Character vs. Character, and I feel that the people who -insist- that PK means player killer should be instructed that PK doesn't mean player killer at all since (hopefully) no players are being killed. I feel you should all immediately change it to CvC, and allow PK to mean paradiddle knuckling and player knights.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:22 PM   #110
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
If Delerak gets to use PK to mean Player Knights

I feel we need to include Paradiddle Knuckling
Honestly, if you want to define PK as Paradiddle Knuckling on your MUD, have at it. And if someone wants to define PK as Player Knights, they should go for it as well.

That's the whole point. They are free to use those terms however they want. I invite you, Delerak, or anyone else to use those acronyms however you want. If the general populace finds it absurd, you'll only embarrass yourself.

I guess we should thank you and Delerak for providing another example of why people are completely free to call their game an RPI if they think Role Playing Intensive suits their game. Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:52 PM   #111
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
That's the whole point. They are free to use those terms however they want. I invite you, Delerak, or anyone else to use those acronyms however you want. If the general populace finds it absurd, you'll only embarrass yourself.
The question isn't whether people are free to use the term however they want, as clearly they are. Nobody here is in a position to prohibit the use of the term RPI by anyone however they wish to use it.

The question is should MUDs that are not RPIs by the current definition exercise this freedom to broaden the use of the term. Whether you agree with prof and his list of 19 features or not, the term RPI has come to have a specific meaning much narrower than the words role-play intensive might otherwise suggest.

I don't run an RPI and have never actually played one, but if I see a game advertised as an RPI I can form a picture of what features and what style of game it might be. The term is useful precisely because it has a specific meaning.

What exactly is to be gained by encouraging a broader use of the term? Who exactly does it help? Certainly not the players of RPIs who are going to have difficulty finding new games to try because of all the MUDs now calling themselves RPIs. Certainly not the MUDs that are going to get new players looking for an RPI logging in and complaining that the MUD doesn't have the features of an RPI.

By trying to broaden the definition of the term RPI and insist that those MUDs now calling themselves RPIs adopt some new acronym I think you're attempting to solve a problem that simply doesn't exist.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:03 PM   #112
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Orrin View Post
The question isn't

...

The question is
The only part of the question I am involved in is whether or not the person who coins a term controls how it is used once it has been released in the wild. And my point was they do not.

As for the rest of the debate, I find it utterly pointless.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:05 PM   #113
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Honestly, if you want to define PK as Paradiddle Knuckling on your MUD, have at it. And if someone wants to define PK as Player Knights, they should go for it as well.

That's the whole point. They are free to use those terms however they want. I invite you, Delerak, or anyone else to use those acronyms however you want. If the general populace finds it absurd, you'll only embarrass yourself.
While their examples were meant as sarcastic, they do illustrate the absurdity of the "opposition" to the term. People are free to call their game RPI, Role-Playing Intensive or Role-Play Intensive if they so choose. However, they're also using the term incorrectly and demonstrating either ignorance or deliberate deceit in doing so. As Threshold said, they're just embarassing themselves. Thus they have no room for complaint when they're corrected or ridiculed because the fault lies with them. The same goes for any other term that is used correctly. But it doesn't change the definition of the term RPI or any other term. It just makes those that use it incorrectly look ignorant or deceitful.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:04 AM   #114
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

Something needs to be said here and it is a strong reason I find it pointless to continue this discussion.

I reviewed these more than 400 posts between the two threads related to RPI and I've found one thing in common. While several Admin/Owners of RPE and other styles of Muds have commented why RPI is a global term for all games, not a single Admin or Owner of any open game called an RPI by the RPMUD group has made a single comment about this discussion. I found this astonishing. Please correct me if I missed something and am wrong about this.

Is there a reason to continue this discussion without a singular voice from someone in authority (meaning an owner of one of the original games) making some comment on their own position? Is it possible that they don't even care for the term or would be entirely happy with a better, more definable term.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:48 AM   #115
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Something needs to be said here and it is a strong reason I find it pointless to continue this discussion.

I reviewed these more than 400 posts between the two threads related to RPI and I've found one thing in common. While several Admin/Owners of RPE and other styles of Muds have commented why RPI is a global term for all games, not a single Admin or Owner of any open game called an RPI by the RPMUD group has made a single comment about this discussion. I found this astonishing. Please correct me if I missed something and am wrong about this.

Is there a reason to continue this discussion without a singular voice from someone in authority (meaning an owner of one of the original games) making some comment on their own position? Is it possible that they don't even care for the term or would be entirely happy with a better, more definable term.
I was an admin on Shadows of Isildur from January 2004 until January 2005 when I resigned and began work on TSOY and have since turned down staff offers on four other RPI projects. However, very few of the other RPI admins frequent these forums, or at least very few if any of them post here much if they do. Some of them have weighed in on discussions in the past elsewhere however....

From Haiwolfe, former head administrator of Shadows of Isildur:
Quote:
Delerak named most of the common traits found in the handful of high profile MUDs that bear the RPI label. From what I've observed, I think the touchiness of the subject comes largely from semantics -- if the phrase roleplay-intensive were replaced with a more technical umbrella term to describe this laundry list of features, we would see a lot less trouble whenever the acronym comes up.

Words like "roleplay" and "intensity" are very subjective, and players have wide-ranging opinions on what constitutes each. I've seen flamewars erupt when a new MUD calls itself RPI, and players from MUDs already established as RPI denounce them for not having the same features, and then are perceived as snobbish and elitist.

Though a large portion of my experience with MUDs comes from a couple well-known MUDs labeled as RPI, I'm starting to dislike the acronym itself. By nature it is vague and subjective, inviting conflict over its definition. It's much more cut and dry with codebases; you don't usually see Circle MUDs claiming to be ROM, nor is it a definition that can really be argued over. It's when you try to define a game based on style that things get nebulous and accusations of elitism start flying.

Perhaps in the future we can solve the "RPI" debate by naming the small group of like-featured MUDs that currently have this label something more objective.
From Traithe, former coder on Harshlands and founder of Shadows of Isildur:
Quote:
RPI is just an acronym - not particularly any better or worse than, for example, MUD (multi user dungeon? what if a game's setting doesn't even include dungeons? oh no!).

I'm not quite sure why people get so bent out of shape about it, really. It's a label that helps convey a sense of a given mud's featureset to a prospective player.

To me, it's much more about the coded systems than the game's roleplaying atmosphere. The latter is far too subjective to be useful in creating a reliable subcategory identification.

If a game has the features, they can justifiably use the label. If not, they shouldn't, unless they're deliberately trying to muddy the waters.

The most important features that make these types of games distinctive are:

1. Applications required for all PCs.
2. Permadeath.
3. Complete absence of any PC-accessible OOC global channels.
4. Heavy reliance on relatively realistic coded simulations as adjudicators of in-game conflicts, e.g. combat code. (This last obviously being far more subjective than the first three.)

Borderline elitist and dismissive jackassery like Delerak's post above aside, there's really nothing "better" or "worse" about being an RPI or anything else for that matter.

It's like being dead, folks - you either are or you aren't. <g>

It does irk me a bit that people who enjoy these sorts of games get a bad rap because a vocal but very irritating minority earns it, but I suppose there's nothing for it.
Quote:
Well, speaking as the founder of one of the three main RPIs (at least, that are generally recognized as such) out there currently, I initially used the label because it was recognizable - as I mentioned before, that's the entire purpose of slapping on these nifty little acronyms to various games.

Players see that it's classified as RPI, and based on whether or not they like the very specific and niche-oriented coded features that it entails they decide whether to give it a chance or to move on - because of this, they can make a relatively informed decision without needing to spend a whole lot of time, if any at all, doing research.

I don't really see what the huge deal is about. The fact is, the acronym is in common usage, connotes a certain feature set, and that's just the way it is. <g>

If other people want to come up with new classifications and try to get them propagated, that's great, but there's not much of a reason to muddy the waters when it comes to terms like this that already have a history of reasonably clear and consistent usage.
Quote:
...the point you are missing is this: the acronym already exists, and is already used to describe a select group of games.

The games described share in common those features I listed above, and they are generally the most significant features that "set them apart" as RPI's.

Ergo, arguing or debating is rather pointless, unless you intend to overcomplicate something that should be pretty straightforward.
Quote:
Pheralan's close [in listing SoI, Armageddon, Harshlands and Otherspace as RPIs]! Otherspace, while a great game, is not an RPI - exactly the sort of scenario that Tyche covered very well above [by pointing out that RPI is not a reference to the quality of RP but rather to a particular set of features].

To that list I would probably add Southlands - I've never played it myself, but from what I understand it shares those four features [of applications, permadeath, complete absence of player-accessible global channels, and realistic coded means of conflict resolution], and has been around for quite some time.
From Frisia, former administrator on Shadows of Isildur:
Quote:
I had actually never really run into the apparent controversy surrounding the term "RPI" until fairly recently, given that I was brought into the online roleplaying community in this somewhat small niche and really didn't know that there was a controversy.

However, it does seem to be a little too much hype over the term, for many of the reasons that Traithe has stated. It's like getting into a mud-throwing contest (no pun intended) over "why aren't the birds bees?" I'm sure it's not the only acronym out there that isn't quite perfect.
These quotes are taken from a discussion on the term on mudlab.org in May 2005.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:50 AM   #116
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

I will also point out that Delerak's RPI may very well have opened, at least for beta testing, before he decided to shut down the project.

The 19 characteristics were the result of a round table of several RPI admins and players (from Harshlands, Shadows of Isildur and Armageddon) who basically sat down, figuritively in an AIM chat room, and examined the original RPIs of which there was consensus as to the application of that term. These three (Armageddon, Harshlands and Forever's End) were examined for the characteristics that they shared in common that were not typical of the average stock MUD. The result was the list of 18 characteristics (a 19th was pointed out a few months later in another discussion) consisting of both code and policy philosophy including the "four most important" listed by Traithe in the above discussion from 2005. This list was then compared to other MUDs past and present. The result was a list of slightly under two dozen (at that time) which met the same conditions. A comparison today reveals a total of 32 in the last fifteen years.

Finally, I'll also point out that the RPMUD Network has three terms for role-play enforced games, along the lines of what Haiwolfe suggested while taking into account Traithe's observation of either being or not being RPI. There is RPI (Role-Play Intensive) for those games meeting the original application of the term, there is RPE (Role-Play Enforced) for games which possess a policy of required/enforced role-play, and there is RPO (Role-Play Oriented) for those games which not only feature a policy of required/enforced role-play but also additional features not conforming to the more specific term of RPI but clearly being different than the standard RPE.

Now, that's a lot of information. Where, I ask, is any evidence for the history or value of the term RPI having any justifiable use besides that which has been so thoroughly outlined above?

Jason

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Old 10-03-2009, 06:31 AM   #117
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Something needs to be said here and it is a strong reason I find it pointless to continue this discussion.

I reviewed these more than 400 posts between the two threads related to RPI and I've found one thing in common. While several Admin/Owners of RPE and other styles of Muds have commented why RPI is a global term for all games, not a single Admin or Owner of any open game called an RPI by the RPMUD group has made a single comment about this discussion. I found this astonishing. Please correct me if I missed something and am wrong about this.

Is there a reason to continue this discussion without a singular voice from someone in authority (meaning an owner of one of the original games) making some comment on their own position? Is it possible that they don't even care for the term or would be entirely happy with a better, more definable term.
You're right. They don't really care what all of us think to be honest. Nor would I if I was still running my own RPI mud. Because in the end, players who play at RPI muds will simply walk away from any mud that is claiming RPI and yet has something like the character generation of Threshold's MUD. It's simply obvious that when you login to Threshold it is not an RPI at all. Which is fine, because Threshold never claimed it was.

If you visit the forums of any RPI mud they have very tight-knit communities that border on fanaticism for that one game. That unfortunately is something that breeds an almost outsider-like quality to each RPI mud, hence they do not visit forums such as these, they stick to their own forums and could care less what mud sites think of them.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:10 PM   #118
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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Is there a reason to continue this discussion without a singular voice from someone in authority (meaning an owner of one of the original games) making some comment on their own position?
I get same responses from the same people. Nothing has changed. The people you quote are no longer owning or running the games I speak about above.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:32 PM   #119
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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I get same responses from the same people. Nothing has changed. The people you quote are no longer owning or running the games I speak about above.
I answered your question. Most of the RPI community stays away from TMS. For some, it's because they're just not into forums, others simply don't have time and for yet others they remember that in the past they've been attacked here as "elitist" and other nonsense.

What difference does it make anyway if a game is open or not? You've heard from various admins from the RPI community. I own and run a RPI in development. Why does my view suddenly become more important when we open? The only difference between being in development and being open is that you allow players onto your grid.

As a result, your request seems rather pointless.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:48 PM   #120
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Re: RPI, RPE, and Roleplay

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I get same responses from the same people. Nothing has changed. The people you quote are no longer owning or running the games I speak about above.
I have posted a poll on a site that I run just for RPI admins. There are 47 members, including admins, owners, imms, veteran players, and ex-staff members. I asked why they don't come here to answer your questions. I pointed out the link. Of the 47 members, 13 of them responded. Of those 13 responses, 12 responders chose "Who is Newworlds and why should I care about his opinion?" One responder chose "I don't participate in TMS forums."

So there you have it.
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