Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
124 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: On The Implications Of Knowingly Creating Malicious Beings: A Minecraft Lesson rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Clay
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey guys, please stop talking about the government for like 3 seconds. Thank you.

So I play a lot of Minecraft. A lot. One consequence of this is that I get to spent many hours in a world with laws of nature that can lead to some interesting questions. Questions like, "are you a dick if you intentionally bring terrible people into the world?"

For the uninitiated, I'm not going to explain Minecraft. What I will explain are monster spawners. These are special cage-like blocks with a little dude inside, when a player gets within a certain range of a spawner the little dude will start to spin, tiny fires will spark up inside the cage and full-bodied versions of whatever is in the block will begin to spawn into existence around the area (usually based on certain limitations like area and light levels).

These spawners can currently spawn just about any type of entity but the standard models all spawn "monsters," the hostile mobs of the game. One example of these would be a skeleton, it's exactly what you think it is. Skeletons spawn out in the wild in dark areas, the player cannot be blamed for that (potentially, there's another interesting tangent regarding the metaphysics of Minecraft in which the world only appears to exist within a set perimeter from a player and since monsters only spawn in existing areas... we're getting off topic). However, if the player intentionally stands around near a skeleton spawner it seems clear that they can be blamed, right? So is the player not kind of a dick for flooding the world with hostile killing machines? What if it is a zombie spawner, since while skeletons only set out to kill players zombies are happy to hunt down testificates and murder them in the street. Now they aren't just endangering themselves, they are actively making the world more dangerous for any villagers that might be in the area.

God. You knew this was going to be about some sort of god eventually.

So there is a god that intentionally brings malicious beings into the world. Kind of a dick, yeah? "But wait," you might be saying out loud in an empty room, "what god just sits around spawning in skeleton-equivalents? There's a clear difference between definitely creating bad things and creating things that could be bad." You're right, rhetorical device, there is a clear difference between these two things. Consider the case of custom spawners.

It is now trivially easy to create custom mob spawners, both with entities that have modified data or that can spawn in more than one type of entity with varying probabilities. You could, for example, create a spawner that spawns in harmless testificates and ravenous zombies. Dick. You could always adjust the probabilities though, so at what level does this become acceptable? What if nine out of ten times a villager spawns and only ten percent of the time a zombie appears to murder those villagers? What if it were 99/100 to 1/100? Do you ever really hit a point where this can be seen as a particularly nice activity knowing that the next entity to spawn could turn life into a brief nightmare for all of the other dudes milling about?

Human nature is slightly more complex than the zombie/villager dichotomy but at the same time the odds of zombie-equivalent behavior manifesting appears to be far more frequent than one percent likelihood. So could a god that intentionally creates people knowing that there is a high probability that some of those people will strive to make existence very unpleasant for the others be seen as particularly friendly chap? At the very least it should call into question whether or not they are the protagonist or the antagonist of our story.

There is more to consider in regards to monster spawners but this should be enough to get us started, even if it is little more than a slight re-skinning of the classic "lol why ur god so evil" problem.
4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jorge Montero
United States
St Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First yes, you are overthinking minecraft. It was an interesting project until Notch got rich.

Second, Mob spawners can't be evil, because the game requires elements that come only from monsters. A zombie is no more evil than a real life lion.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Xander Fulton
United States
Astoria
Oregon
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not saying (necessarily) it addresses the religions question, but...

What if the only reason the game existed at all was that one programmer had bet another that the only way a 'functional society model' could be built and be self-sustaining was if there were no monster spawns at all? You, on the other hand, believe that an ordered system CAN still exist, even having forces of entropy within it. In such a situation, having the monster spawns present would be a requirement of proving the contrary point - so the "best" you could do (being a 'benevolent' person, but still required to have monsters in your world to prove your argument that success can exist, even alongside them) would be to limit them as much as possible.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jasper
Netherlands
Leiden
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1
2
3
aaaaargghhhhh Obama errgg Boener gggghhhhhhh THEY WILL NOT NEGOTIATE gurgurgrle Obamacare!1!!1!! Debt ceiling nngnngnngn etc etc etc etc
13 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
XP Grinders are cool though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Boise
Idaho
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Somebody didn't play D&D as a kid. This is what you get when you don't expose your kids to RPG's... so parents, don't let your children get as fucked up as Clay. DM a game tonight.
10 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That D&D game you had with Dr. Joyce Brothers had a lasting effect, huh?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Michealson
United States
Maple Grove
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Valuable bathroom real estate!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hibikir wrote:
First yes, you are overthinking minecraft. It was an interesting project until Notch got rich.

Second, Mob spawners can't be evil, because the game requires elements that come only from monsters. A zombie is no more evil than a real life lion.


Or a real life zombie for that matter.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Boise
Idaho
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
jmilum wrote:
That D&D game you had with Dr. Joyce Brothers had a lasting effect, huh?


She was an awesome player. But my kids had a better imagination when we played. That's why they don't question whether a computer game actually has malicious beings in it. Clay is kind of fucked up due probably to not enough D&D.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clay
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shushnik wrote:
Dude, you need to take a break from the minecraft.


Well yeah, why do you think I'm back here?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Clay;

I'm happen to entertain a religious question, but what exactly is the question?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Part of what makes Minecraft fun is danger. It wouldn't be as fun if there were no possibility of a creeper sneaking up on you in the dark. They are fundamental to the purpose of the game.

Likewise agency is fundamental to the purpose of human beings living on the Earth. No, not to make it a scary and exciting place to mine diamonds. The analogy of course doesn't exactly fit, other than introducing the concept of hardship not necessarily being a bad thing.

That's all I have to say about that.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bat Profile
United States
Sandworms USA
Plateau of Leng
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hibikir wrote:
A zombie is no more evil than a real life lion.



Necromancer apologist
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Junior McSpiffy
United States
Riverton
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So the guy who created Minecraft shouldn't have created it because some guy may just stand around spawning whatever and living spawning evil? So many people who could go around experiencing the beauty and marvel of stacking tiny blocks on top of other tiny blocks (I still don't get the appeal of this...) and who occasionally spawn evil as they go because that's the way things are rigged... they should miss out on all of it because a few people lose sight of what this is about and just go around spawning?

Yeah... thin re-skin. 4372nd verse, same as the first.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Boise
Idaho
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
The Message wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Dude, you need to take a break from the minecraft.


Well yeah, why do you think I'm back here?


Here Clay... a t-shirt design that fits right in with your Minecraft activities:



11 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clay
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hibikir wrote:
First yes, you are overthinking minecraft. It was an interesting project until Notch got rich.

Second, Mob spawners can't be evil, because the game requires elements that come only from monsters. A zombie is no more evil than a real life lion.


There is a difference between mobs spawning naturally and mobs spawning through the direct and knowing actions of a player. That distinction is key to the discussion.

The lion example is pretty interesting though. Note that I didn't use the word "evil" since we aren't necessarily discussing the morality of these creatures, I said malicious. In many sense a lion is malicious. So, why would you knowingly bring lions into existence? Would you hang out around a cube that spawned in lions as long as someone was within 16 meters of it? What about a cube that spawns in both lions and elk or gazelles or whatever Bambi-varient they traumatize on a regular basis? If you could find a way to make the world "work" without lions wouldn't that be an improvement?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Welcome Rolling Stones
Latvia
Bullshit
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I first played this game in an early beta, and I was impressed because it gave me the EXACT BLOCK SHOOTER I dreamed of in my youth: a shooter that I could build with. The game was a bit rough, so I thought I would revisit again when it was ready for prime time.

I forgot all about it for a long time. Then Clay posted a video that showed how someone built a working computer inside the game, and that rekindled my interest. I bought the game immediately.

Clay, how do you feel about creating this malicious Minecraft player? Does it make you sad? Does it make you happy that you unleashed a maniacal master of geometry? Do you remember the time your girlfriend burned down my house?

Good times.
2 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clay
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
Clay;

I'm happen to entertain a religious question, but what exactly is the question?


Short version: Certain god concepts entail that god having knowingly created many malicious beings, or at least beings with a high potential for malicious activity. Kind of lame or totally sweet?

Long version: See first post.

ejmowrer wrote:
Part of what makes Minecraft fun is danger. It wouldn't be as fun if there were no possibility of a creeper sneaking up on you in the dark. They are fundamental to the purpose of the game.

Likewise agency is fundamental to the purpose of human beings living on the Earth. No, not to make it a scary and exciting place to mine diamonds. The analogy of course doesn't exactly fit, other than introducing the concept of hardship not necessarily being a bad thing.

That's all I have to say about that.


True, but the whole functional immortality thing really softens the downsides of being hunted down. Go caving on a hardcore world and see if get that tingle of thrill when you run low on food and hear bones clinking around one of those corners.

I'll take a charitable reading of your post and assume you don't mean to imply that something like "hey, let's rip through the neighborhood going 120 mph" is awesome behavior because of the thrill of endangering the lives of everyone involved. Even on a simpler level, I've never understood the argument that unpleasant experiences are somehow good for us. The best case I've seen is that they better prepare you for dealing with future unpleasant experiences, but that's a benefit that only makes sense as a positive because unpleasant experiences exist in the first place. It would make far more sense to just cut those out of the equation altogether.

Do you have a clear line of reasoning that says otherwise?

GameCrossing wrote:
So the guy who created Minecraft shouldn't have created it because some guy may just stand around spawning whatever and living spawning evil? So many people who could go around experiencing the beauty and marvel of stacking tiny blocks on top of other tiny blocks (I still don't get the appeal of this...) and who occasionally spawn evil as they go because that's the way things are rigged... they should miss out on all of it because a few people lose sight of what this is about and just go around spawning?

Yeah... thin re-skin. 4372nd verse, same as the first.


No, no, no. I'm not saying Notch is the god-equivalent, I'm saying the player is the god-equivalent. Within the world itself, if you engage in certain behaviors it appears that you are needlessly making the world a less pleasant place. If it holds that this is poor behavior then it should also hold true in other instances of beings needlessly making worlds less pleasant places. It has nothing to do with making everyone miss out on the beauty of Minecraft.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Junior McSpiffy
United States
Riverton
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Message wrote:

GameCrossing wrote:
So the guy who created Minecraft shouldn't have created it because some guy may just stand around spawning whatever and living spawning evil? So many people who could go around experiencing the beauty and marvel of stacking tiny blocks on top of other tiny blocks (I still don't get the appeal of this...) and who occasionally spawn evil as they go because that's the way things are rigged... they should miss out on all of it because a few people lose sight of what this is about and just go around spawning?

Yeah... thin re-skin. 4372nd verse, same as the first.


No, no, no. I'm not saying Notch is the god-equivalent, I'm saying the player is the god-equivalent. Within the world itself, if you engage in certain behaviors it appears that you are needlessly making the world a less pleasant place. If it holds that this is poor behavior then it should also hold true in other instances of beings needlessly making worlds less pleasant places. It has nothing to do with making everyone miss out on the beauty of Minecraft.


Then I just can't wrap my head around your analogy. Either I'm too Minecraft-ignorant, or can't stop thinking of God as bigger than the block-placer/skeleton-spawner.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clay
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
49xjohn wrote:

I first played this game in an early beta, and I was impressed because it gave me the EXACT BLOCK SHOOTER I dreamed of in my youth: a shooter that I could build with. The game was a bit rough, so I thought I would revisit again when it was ready for prime time.

I forgot all about it for a long time. Then Clay posted a video that showed how someone built a working computer inside the game, and that rekindled my interest. I bought the game immediately.

Clay, how do you feel about creating this malicious Minecraft player? Does it make you sad? Does it make you happy that you unleashed a maniacal master of geometry? Do you remember the time your girlfriend burned down my house?

Good times.


I'm still pretty sure you burned down your own house. That or lightning did. The log showed that you and Ken were the only people even on the server during that period of time and I highly doubt that he did it (although that would be an awesome plot twist).

I tore the shit out of those awful roads though. "City planning," sure. Planning to make an eyesore out of the town.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clay
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GameCrossing wrote:
The Message wrote:

GameCrossing wrote:
So the guy who created Minecraft shouldn't have created it because some guy may just stand around spawning whatever and living spawning evil? So many people who could go around experiencing the beauty and marvel of stacking tiny blocks on top of other tiny blocks (I still don't get the appeal of this...) and who occasionally spawn evil as they go because that's the way things are rigged... they should miss out on all of it because a few people lose sight of what this is about and just go around spawning?

Yeah... thin re-skin. 4372nd verse, same as the first.


No, no, no. I'm not saying Notch is the god-equivalent, I'm saying the player is the god-equivalent. Within the world itself, if you engage in certain behaviors it appears that you are needlessly making the world a less pleasant place. If it holds that this is poor behavior then it should also hold true in other instances of beings needlessly making worlds less pleasant places. It has nothing to do with making everyone miss out on the beauty of Minecraft.


Then I just can't wrap my head around your analogy. Either I'm too Minecraft-ignorant, or can't stop thinking of God as bigger than the block-placer/skeleton-spawner.


You're in creative mode and you have MCEdit available. Does that help?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
フィル
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
badge
I am the wasp / that burrows in! I am the shriek / of twilight din!
Avatar
mbmbmb
GameCrossing wrote:
Then I just can't wrap my head around your analogy. Either I'm too Minecraft-ignorant, or can't stop thinking of God as bigger than the block-placer/skeleton-spawner.

The analogy: X knowingly populates the world with a mixture of malicious and benign creatures. X has has the ability to set any ratio of malicious to benign, including 0:1. When X keeps deliberately adding malicious creatures, is X a dick?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Ami. Geek.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Message wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Clay;

I'm happen to entertain a religious question, but what exactly is the question?


Short version: Certain god concepts entail that god having knowingly created many malicious beings, or at least beings with a high potential for malicious activity. Kind of lame or totally sweet?

Long version: See first post.

ejmowrer wrote:
Part of what makes Minecraft fun is danger. It wouldn't be as fun if there were no possibility of a creeper sneaking up on you in the dark. They are fundamental to the purpose of the game.

Likewise agency is fundamental to the purpose of human beings living on the Earth. No, not to make it a scary and exciting place to mine diamonds. The analogy of course doesn't exactly fit, other than introducing the concept of hardship not necessarily being a bad thing.

That's all I have to say about that.


True, but the whole functional immortality thing really softens the downsides of being hunted down. Go caving on a hardcore world and see if get that tingle of thrill when you run low on food and hear bones clinking around one of those corners.

I'll take a charitable reading of your post and assume you don't mean to imply that something like "hey, let's rip through the neighborhood going 120 mph" is awesome behavior because of the thrill of endangering the lives of everyone involved. Even on a simpler level, I've never understood the argument that unpleasant experiences are somehow good for us. The best case I've seen is that they better prepare you for dealing with future unpleasant experiences, but that's a benefit that only makes sense as a positive because unpleasant experiences exist in the first place. It would make far more sense to just cut those out of the equation altogether.

Do you have a clear line of reasoning that says otherwise?

GameCrossing wrote:
So the guy who created Minecraft shouldn't have created it because some guy may just stand around spawning whatever and living spawning evil? So many people who could go around experiencing the beauty and marvel of stacking tiny blocks on top of other tiny blocks (I still don't get the appeal of this...) and who occasionally spawn evil as they go because that's the way things are rigged... they should miss out on all of it because a few people lose sight of what this is about and just go around spawning?

Yeah... thin re-skin. 4372nd verse, same as the first.


No, no, no. I'm not saying Notch is the god-equivalent, I'm saying the player is the god-equivalent. Within the world itself, if you engage in certain behaviors it appears that you are needlessly making the world a less pleasant place. If it holds that this is poor behavior then it should also hold true in other instances of beings needlessly making worlds less pleasant places. It has nothing to do with making everyone miss out on the beauty of Minecraft.


I already said all I have to say about it. Is this thing on? *thump* *thump*
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Junior McSpiffy
United States
Riverton
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sbszine wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
Then I just can't wrap my head around your analogy. Either I'm too Minecraft-ignorant, or can't stop thinking of God as bigger than the block-placer/skeleton-spawner.

The analogy: X knowingly populates the world with a mixture of malicious and benign creatures. X has has the ability to set any ratio of malicious to benign, including 0:1. When X keeps deliberately adding malicious creatures, is X a dick?


But I still don't feel it's an apt analysis. I'm gonna shift to WoW, since I am at least familiar with the concept (moreso than the Minecrafts), though I've only played the board game and never the online version*. Someone could create an expansive, beautiful, rich, detailed world for a bunch of people to hang out in. And populate it with zero beasties. People could explore in perfect safety, maybe find things laying around on the ground to buff up their armor or arsenal or whatever.

And people would get zero XP. Eterna-lvl-1-noob-land.

Or as someone else put it, Minecraft wouldn't be as much fun if there weren't things out there that could kill you. It's part of the experience. --COULD-- Minecraft have no bad guys? Sure. But would you play it?







* Hipster alert!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Welcome Rolling Stones
Latvia
Bullshit
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Message wrote:
I'm still pretty sure you burned down your own house. That or lightning did. The log showed that you and Ken were the only people even on the server during that period of time and I highly doubt that he did it (although that would be an awesome plot twist).


I never saw the log. But I remember it being described that the only people on the server at the time was me, Ken, AND YOUR GIRLFRIEND, WHO NOT ONLY BURNT DOWN MY HOUSE, BUT ALSO BURNT DOWN MY BIRCH ORCHARD.

lol. The next day I met her in game for the first and only time while she surveyed the ashes of her house. It was an awkward and truly memorable moment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.