Dave Myers, a long-time games researcher and commenter here at TN, received some media coverage yesterday for his tale of Twixt, prompting 132 comments and counting. Scott Jennings has some snarky comments on his blog and thinks this is all about a game design flaw.
Personally, I find these kinds of social "flaws" and how they are fixed pretty interesting. In my book, I'm using the story of Twixt to make a simple point that most readers of this blog will already appreciate. The rules that are enforced in MMOGs, like the rules enforced in any society, are not limited to the formal rules set forth in writing or coded into the software. Users decide for themselves how games should be played.
Update: Dave responds to all the attention here. A few lines I find particularly interesting in relation to what Richard says below and the question of EULAs:
Most surprisingly of all (maybe only to me), game designers themselves seem no longer interested in their rules. They seem to focus increasingly less on game rules and increasingly more on game rulers. Rulers don’t like the game rules? No problem. Eliminate those rules.