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Old 09-21-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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Red face

Perhaps I am wrong, but I thought free ment no paying.
I'm sure you have seen it too- many times you are asked to pay for at least part of what is free.
a MUD a couple MUCKs and a MOO I have looked at in the last week or so claim to be free, but won't allow access from a free email

or there are the games that are 'free' but give perks such as special weapons or extra practices to those who pay
those who do not pay then get slaughtered

I even saw one that would not allow you to remort without paying. I guess you can play for free- but not forever.

So I ask- why are theese games allowed to call themselves free if in many cases they actually aren't?
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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There's a grotesquely long thread on this very same question
at tmc:

AFAICT, the answer is "they do it because they can".

Much of the debate is about whether they should, but that's
kind of like saying that it shouldn't rain when I'm trying to
have a picnic in the park. I'm sort of right, but it doesn't matter.

Sad, yes.
But short of a fundamental revolution in the way muds and
mud sites work, I'd suggest just getting used to it, and telling
others what you found by submitting reviews.

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Old 09-21-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
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Okay, I can understand the objection to paying for perks, but saying a mud isn't free because it won't accept registrations from freemailers is just ridiculous. It's like saying that a drive-in that is offering free movies isn't really free since you have to have a car, because they ban bicycles for safty reasons.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:57 PM   #4
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True. I would be allowed to play for nothing.
IF I could afford my own computer and internet service.

and Hey! I could do that with a job!

and I could do that a lot easier if I wasn't disabled in a car wreck that has left some people questioning my mental abilities

Oh yes. Stupid me! This is fair.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:57 PM   #5
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I think that whether users can afford their internet
connections is beyond the control of mud admins. This is
why it might be reasonably considered to be out of the
scope of the debate about calling muds free or not.

I see there is a lot of anger where you're coming from, but
I don't know why, since this thread has been pretty civil
up til now. You asked a question, it was answered. Someone
disagreed with a detail in your statement. He called your
statement ridiculous, but this is not a flame, as far as I can tell.

I'm not sure your disability, if I understood you correctly
to have one, has any bearing on the topic itself, and to seems
to me to not have been brought up, except by you.

Life is definitely unfair. But I thought you were talking about
mud admins, not fate and destiny. Mud admins can control the
reality inside their game, but they're not responsible for
your situation, or paying for your internet access.

Ogma made a good, if undiplomatic, point about your apparent
position regarding free email denial during registration. I
happen to agree with him. I don't think that means I'm oppressing
you because of your life problems. It means I disagree with
what you said.

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Old 09-21-2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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Point taken- I will try not to blow up again.

The perks however really did ruin a game for me. It was the first mud I played and I stayed there a good few months.
Finally others achieving in minutes what I had worked hours for got me so angry I am still refusing to play any game from IRE.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:31 PM   #7
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As you posted this in the Legal Issues section, I'll restrict myself to a legal answer: Because they're free by all legal definitions I'm aware of. In the US (where Iron Realms is located), the FTC regulates advertising claims. Roughly (I am not a lawyer), as long as you don't have to pay for something, and as long as not paying for something isn't predicated on giving something else to the seller without noting that, it's free.

For instance, "Buy one, get one free" is legal promotion because the advertisement itself is noting that the free thing is contingent upon buying something to begin with. Advertising "Free bananas" when, in fact, you had to first buy an apple to get a free banana would not, I believe, be legal.

In our games, absolutely everything is achievable without giving us anything, so there's no legal problem at all. Our games are free in the commonly-used sense of the word and the legally used sense.

I think what you're objecting to is that people who don't pay have to (usually at least) work harder to achieve things that credits affect (else nobody would buy credits from us). That is indeed true, but it's not really applicable to whether you can play for free or not (you can).

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Old 09-21-2006, 07:00 PM   #8
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This debate tends to be very complicated and heated here, with the same personalities championing each side of the argument(as I speak with personal experience of being one of them).

In the end it boils down to technicalities versus ethics, and it cannot possibly be boiled down any more than that. It is up to each person to decide the importance of this issue to them when choosing a game to play, and to make sure that all players are educated on the issue is the best anyone can do towards "fixing the problem".
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:30 PM   #9
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Yeah. I personally am one of the people that has "ethical" issues about the use of "free" in this context, for the same reason I would like to beat software developer with a baseball bat when they include "free" anyplace on their web pages, for proprietary software. The problem is very similar with muds. In software you get:

Category 1 - Shareware
--a Time limited, all features stop working.
--b Time limited, some features stop working.
--c Most features don't work.
--d Some features don't work.
--e Nags you to register, but everything keeps working.

Category 2 - Freeware
--a Free, but you can't change how it works.
--b Free, but you need to bribe the developer to make it work.
--c Free, you can change it, but not claim it is official or sell it.

Category 3 - OSS
--a Source available, but limits on what you can do with it.
--b Source available, with no limits on what you can do with it.

And a number in between.

If anything, muds can get even more confusing, but imho, there is a fundimental and basic difference between category 1, 2 and 3 in software, just as there are fundimental differences in categories of muds. And ***reviews*** are basically useless, since they are dependent on the reviewer to describe what they "think" the category is (if they bother to even mention any of the details needed to make a judgement call) and almost as totally useless for finding one you want based on objective criteria as goggling "free mud".

Needless to say, the worst offenders have argued that such distinctions are either meaningless, too complicated or somehow useless to players. If you believe that, then I may have a bridge I can sell you...
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