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Daria: What's up, Niv?
Niviane: I was just wondering if you were busy. I'm a little bored and wanted to know if you wanted to do some role playing or get together a mobile hunting party.
Daria: Sure. Can you wait a couple minutes, though? I have to finish something up with Ashandra and Garret first, then I'll be with you.
Niviane: Kewl, thanks. Maybe you can ask them to join us?
Who hasn't been in either Daria's or Niviane's shoes? Either wanting to get some role-playing done or trying to get together a group to go hunting mobiles? This is made indefinitely easier by the use of long distance tells. Most muds have them in some form or another. Some role playing mud and MUSHes use the tell command, or a paging command of some sort to keep the out of character conversations apart from the in character communications going on.
Can you fit into snowboarding shoes?
There are, of course, two sides to every issue, and the use of long distance tells is not any different.
The command has some problems. It can be hard to coordinate with more than one person at a time through the use of them. One person has to act as a relay, passing information through to others as they get it. This is the main problem that I have found with the command at least. It is most annoying when one is talking to two or more people that are not in the same room.
Another problem with the command is that it can be very easy to confuse conversations between two people. This can be very embarrassing, depending on what the conversation is about. There are certainly things that pass between a girlfriend and boyfriend that would cause a great deal of blushing on either side of the mistell.
This is not to say that long distance tells are a bad thing. In fact, I am all for them. Sometimes a player just doesn't want to participate in any role playing or would can only be on for a short amount of time, so getting involved in a scene would really be out of the question. Perhaps the player would just like to talk to someone about something that is going on in their lives. We can't always stop in our times of need to find a private room to discuss what is going on.
In cases like this, it is a good idea to have long-distance tells. They are also very useful when one is coordinating a plot, or just wants to talk to someone who is not in the immediate area. One player wants to talk to another, but they are on different continents. There's no chance of either being able to go to the other any time soon, so it is just easier to use the tell command.
The tell command is very unrealistic, to be certain. It is akin to being able to talk mind to mind, which is not something that has been scientifically proven as being possible. However, it is a very helpful command, and will probably be with us for many more years until something better is brought about.
July 1999 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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