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Has Evil Left the Building?


Or: Ever Just Want to be Bad?

A good friend of mine and writer here, Ryan, just got a promotion in a game he’s been playing for the last ten years. He’s now an “immortal,” which in MMO terms means guild leader/staff member. His achievement came with a lot of accolades but what I found most interesting was his goal: to destroy every good following in the game.

Sound a little extreme? Well, it’s not really. The game he was promoted in is a MUD, and one that still lets players choose between good and evil. Ryan, of course, chose evil.

The whole thing got me thinking, can we really be evil anymore? I mean, sure, there are classes and races the game tells us are evil, like warlocks or drow, but I wonder how much further it goes than character creation. Can a single player really be evil?

They can be good. You can buff your fellow players, offer them help on a tough quest line, etc. Then you have dungeons, where players band together for the “greater good” of quelling whatever threat lies within.

But as a player, sometimes I just want to be bad. I want to plot. I want to connive. I want to trick, and betray, and kill. But not my friends, of course. I want to be feared.


I was always like this. In the days of MUDs, I was a PK’er and gave each character a backstory for why they were so murderous.

And every step of the way was some “good” guy wanting to wreck my fun.

Well, let me tell you, we didn’t get along very well.

But, with the jump to modern MMOs, all of this has lost its point.

So, I wonder: has evil left the building?

In most games, I believe the answer is yes. PvE necessitates it. You can’t have people killing each other left and right in dungeons. Betrayal begets whining. Theft equals inequality, where what you’ve spent “countless hours” earning can change hands without your knowing.

In short, evil is only fun for the people being evil.

More importantly though, evil was nullified when death became meaningless. There’s not much point in it when your enemy has nothing to lose.

Then, what’s left isn’t being “evil.” It’s being a griefer. The truth is, most of us that want to play an evil character are actually decent people. It’s not about wrecking your day, it’s about how we make our own fun and roleplay.

Yeah, yeah, I know know roleplay is lame and all that. But, the fact is, if you take roleplay out, you’re left with some guy being a jerk to another. That’s not what it’s about and that’s why most self-respecting “evil” players have given up the ghost. The ones that are left are the mouth breathers. The newbie killers. The corpse campers. You know who I’m talking about.

That’s not us and it’s not what we wanted. See, we wanted you to be good and us to be evil. We wanted war, baby, not to be jerks. There’s a difference.

So, to sum it all up, evil is in the eye of the beholder. The difference is, the game will support being good. You make your own evil, past character creation.

Just remember to play nice.

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