Tuesday, November 29, 2005
As for the end of the world, there is much thinking going on at high level, with a sense of urgency.
Junkk.com has two (there may be more, and I am sure we'll be told
what they are in due course. Rest assured, if valid we'll try and
address them) main obstacles to 'use' as an online resource.
Research after research in this field shows that high on users' pet
hate lists are asking for personal info and, sort of the same thing -
but not always - long forms.
Well, we're trying to address the fact that we have, to an extent, a
bit of both.
So soon there will be some stuff you can dip into on site pretty much
anonymously and unrecorded.
But the majority will still require agreeing to our terms &
conditions and/or registering.
We simply can't let folk read about ways to make things, much less
upload them, without accepting that some common sense needs to be
applied. And that means, in this litigious age, to provide a free
service with the cooperation of major brands' products requires some
protections for the good against the scamps we know exist out there.
Similarly, without knowing the postcode we can't very well tell you
what's happening in your neighbourhood, now can we?
Plus, of course, without a name and email we can't ensure you are who
you say you are and playing by the rules, few though they are.
Which brings me to a game called Runescape. It's an online, virtual
world that you can log on to and play, it seems, with all and sundry
out there in cyberspace. And from what I have seen of it, it is
pretty awesome, not least because it is free. And it also doesn't
seem too shabby on social development, maths and all sorts of other
stuff, with the possible exception of the killing and maiming. But
anyone with an X-box or PS2 knows that excess violence in games is a
lost cause anyway.
I just found out my 9 year-olds were playing it. And I was concerned
a bit because we had had a chat about online behaviour, and one of
our many rules is no real names, which they were using.
So I insisted they used noms de plum, which in the changing had some
deleterious consequences to the credits they'd built up. Oops. Bad
Sadly, being about the same age of Bart Simpson (at least this year),
and Gawd knows why, one of them also chose as his new 'handle'
something like Ruinpoop.
Along with crud (previous blog), 'poop' is a word we don't deem too
awful. In fact it's part of a ship, far as I can recall, as much as a
device to carry when you walk the dog.
Which is why him getting banned from the game for using offensive
language was a bit of a shock. Actually, he was desolate, as all the
levels he had built up were lost and he is weeks behind his chums now.
I was just angry. My wife had tried to appeal to their 'customer
services', or whatever the correct title for their nanny brigade is,
to at least get his credits transferred to another name, but she got
slapped down by some petty jobsworth citing 'the rules'. And that,
dear reader, is the end of this chapter.
Yes, rules will always be required. But how they get applied is
equally important. And, obviously, by whom.
So Runescape, for messing up with no good reason a lovely little boy
who could have easily been guided to the path you favour, I hope what
goes around comes around.