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Sociopolitical Ramifications

The history of Sociopolitical Ramifications

by unci

SPR was founded the 19th september 1994 by Gud (Martin C S Gauffin, moment@lysator.liu.se) in Linköping, Sweden. It started with a public-shout in FurryMUCK, and I had the luck to be online at that time. SPR started with three objects, and became public immediately: one room and two characters (Gud and Guest). I logged in as guest (along with some others connected to the same guest character), and Gud @pcreated me as #6.

Then he asked who would like to help build up his MUCK as a wizard. Of course, I agreed. Tuxedo, another sociopolitical ramificator of the first hour, took over building up the city, with streets named such as Disk Drive and Processor Lane, after Gud's suggestion. There, a theme started to form - something high-tech-like. As most came from FurryMUCK, they remained furry of course - that's non-human. However humans are not forbidden.

One of the most important SPR policies developed soon: we want to get along with the absolute minimum of regulations and restrictions for players, we assume that SPR members are responsible individuals who don't need written rules for living with each other. So, we became a working anarchy.

We gathered a pretty pleasant society by inviting our good friends. With its policy of giving out M1 programmer level and builder status without any quota, SPR became a place for programmers, and we have a lot of unique programs and well-built areas now.

Unfortunately we had some difficulties in October 1994, because the bridge that connected SPR with the internet crashed again and again. As these problems could not be easily solved, SPR temporarily moved to America, because Tigerwolf (George F Nemeyer, tigerwolf@tigerden.com) was so friendly to offer his 486 computer (meanwhile upgraded to Pentium) as a server. In 1995, after a network reconfiguration in Sweden, SPR moved back to Linköping because of the limited connection capacity of tigerden.com (two MUCKs, a number of users and a WWW server had to share a 14400 baud modem at that time).

Svansmoj, SPR's server, was then located in building Q of Linköping University in Sweden. The following pictures have been taken by unci during EuroFurence 2 (July 1996). Svansmoj is box on the bottom of the second picture - bravely working in the corner of a computer room....

Q-huset svansmoj

In January 1997, Svansmoj was moved to the apartment of DivineVixen and Snout, also in Linköping.

A lot of SPR users have been wizards. As wizards are capable of doing many things dangerous for the MUCK and its users, we have written down rules for wizards and reduced the wizcore to under thirty players. If a wizard abuses the additional possibilities, acts against the wiz rules or is idle for more than 45 days, s/he loses wizard status. Wizards on SPR don't rule but serve - anyone regarding wizard status as a position of power should not be a wizard. Power is nothing more than an unwanted side effect of being wizard.

This was the theory. SPR continued growing, became the second largest furry MUCK in existence, and as it did so, the wizards more and more abused their powers. In the beginning, anarchy worked, players and even wizards acted responsibly, but despite the wizard rules of SPR, some wizards started throwing out players whom they didn't like, on the basis of personal conflicts rather than MUCK rules. In the old version of this history, several years ago, I wrote:

We have learned from the disquieting development on certain other MUCKs and hold more than ever to our principles of not imposing behaviour rules on each other, being open to everyone, respecting the personality and property of players and keeping wizard power under control.
I was too optimistic. I always felt that much of my role as a wizard, besides coordination of building and helping out players, was to control the power of the other wizards - but in the end I saw that I did not have this power. Abuse became widespread; for example, there were a lot of cases where intellectual property of players - the areas which they had built in the MUCK - was taken away from them, such as in the case of not connecting for some time. I became a victim of such theft as well, having created much of SPR's central planet, the Kamiyama mountains, the road to the north, the savannah and the connection to the desert in the south, and connecting everything together nicely.

When the conflicts among the wizards became worse and worse in 1999 and numerous wizards @toaded players on their own without talking to other wizards, the point was reached where I could not stand it any more. This was not my home world any more. Luckily, some of the players who had been thrown out of SPR for no reason other than a disagreement about the way space should be organized were just starting up a new MUCK at that time, Furscape. There I found a new home, a world where I can continue to live in peace with my furry friends and help building planets as a wizard without getting too much into conflicts. There have been unpleasant events as well, but not anything as bad as it had happened at SPR, a MUCK which, as I believe, can now be considered dead.


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