Although my email is still nuked as a result of the Great UGO Server Move, this was sent to my old address. As always, comment, etc. I’ll have a poll up once the server foolishness settles down so you can make your opinion on the future direction of this site known in a slightly more scientific fashion.

In regards to your current use of the volunteer program as target practice, you are generalizing a system that is based on charity. The people that wear the robes are contributing their time and effort, with very little compensation, to providing a service for those who wish to use it.

For you to so callously and carelessly take a few instances and use them to tear down the entire program is all at once sickening and malicious. The majority of those involved with the Counselor and Seer programs do it out of the goodness of their heart, in an attempt to make the game you play a little bit better. You can use any amount of propaganda and circumstance to conjure the impression that everyone involved is either power-hungry or elitist, but when it comes down to it, they receive nothing but flak from you and your counterparts, and saving ten dollars a month is small compensation for the general disrespect the term “volunteer” now carries.

In fact, if you really were so concerned about the current state of affairs, you’d take it upon yourself to apply for a position. If you have such an insight as to how the organization should be run, and the
methods a volunteer should use, then securing a place among their ranks and leading by example is much more productive than standing off on your pedestal and preaching from the safety of ignorance.

Not to mention many of the volunteers you have so often slandered have done far more for the community than you pretend. In fact, I would invite you to do a little background work on a few of your “victims”, and discover that other than one or two indiscretions,
they did exemplary work and contributed much to the world of Britannia, both past and present.

Prejudice against an entire group based on the actions of a few is at once both narrow and shallow. Unless you want to become Ultima’s version of Archie Bunker, I would suggest taking a second look at the situation, and re-evaluating your stance.

Or ride a bike. God knows you need to.

-Kieran Darkmire, Reporter for the Atlantic Times


Leaving aside for the moment the hysterical images a 350lb Lum paddling down the street conjures, let’s look at the rest of this message.

So the counselors are poor, misunderstood volunteers, giving up their time and effort for little more than altruism. Uh huh.

Well, in the real world, the one I happend to live in, there is no such thing as altruism.

What, you say? But Lum, *I’m* a counselor, and the *only* reason I do it is to help people! You suck! Go on a diet!

By “there’s no such thing as altruism”, I mean that there is always a motive, no matter how pure it may be. Given the ideal circumstance, that someone sincerely likes to help people, and sees this as an opportunity to do so, they are not doing this out of a divine sort of altruism. They do it because helping people makes them feel better. This isn’t bad – it’s human nature.

Given human nature, I suspect there are a few folks involved with the program that have somewhat baser motivations. Such as being part of the “in crowd”, being “elite”, being higher in the “chain of command” than the average player, being part of the “inside”, having “access.”

Whether you choose to admit it or not, these are quite valid reasons. And ones that, from any objective viewpoint, have been quite prevalent in the OSI Volunteer Program.

Why is this a problem? Refer back to my recent postings. Yes, they were pretty damned tawdry. However, as a certain Special Prosecutor might say in a similar circumstance, while unsavory, this was necessary to establish motive. For the crime involved isn’t that of GMs sleeping with SRCs – other than in a prurient Jerry Springer sort of way, no one really cares who’s zooming who, and it’s all totally unable to be proven if they did – but that of GMs then turning around and giving special favors to those SRCs and others, such as deleting property placed by players for their friends, introducing one-hit-killer weapons into the game for their friends, and other game-corrupting events.

Refer back to the Montes Darkwisp story I posted from Everquest. There the stakes are higher. How much do you think a Butcherblock Hammer, the best weapon currently in the game, would sell for on e-Bay? How do you feel, knowing that, knowing that certain guilds tried to influence who would get that hammer, using their influence in the EQ Guide program?

This isn’t about sex, it isn’t about who’s in what IRC channel. It is about the corruption of a virtual community. And that should concern you, even if who’s sleeping with who shouldn’t. Because while UO is only a game, it is also a community of people, which by dint of reading this you happen to belong to. And while corruption may be a fact of life in “real life”, this does not mean that this is something that must be tolerated in the virtual world.

I have gotten a large number of emailed and ICQed personal attacks in the past few days – the one posted above is quite mild compared to others. And all that tells me is that I’m on the right track. Poke the anthill, and watch what scurries out into the light.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. There is a rich history in the MUD world of this sort of tawdry corruption involved when volunteers operate the support system. And the BBS scene before that was much the same. I’m working on researching examples of this. If you have any, send them to me (send them to if my address bounces).

I never said that every single individual counselor was corrupt.

I said the system is corrupt. And it is.