I'm a writer and programmer who's been engaged in furrydom in some form since the days of FurNet, long before I had internet access. After getting on the net, I soon discovered SPR which become my happy online home for a few years. During that time I roleplayed primarily as Zinn (cougar) and Red Lake (raccoon space pirate).
After being on SPR for some time and making a lot of friends there, I got on the bad side of Arian. He had created a program that simulated a CD player -- a spammy, somewhat silly device that recited song lyrics into a room of the MUCK, one line at a time. Song lyrics were stored on objects representing CDs. Both the players and CD objects were sold through stores for in-game currency (i.e spacer credits).
I was at that time learning to program MUF, and I created my own CD player program -- with a few extra features. Arian took umbrage at this, apparently feeling that making a free CD player was cheating. However, there was never any logical reason why a CD player should be associated with Arian's space RP area, nor could he explain how free CD players would unbalance gameplay in that area. SPR had a long history of allowing players to create freely, and I felt my program was perfectly in line with that tradition.
Arian next responded with a claim that I had copied his program's source code in the creation of my own. It was easy to demonstrate the falsehood of that simply by comparing the code, which I invited Snout to do. Snout decided not to decide: He didn't ask me to remove my program, which he certainly could and should have done if he believed it contained stolen code. Neither did he force Arian to stop claiming I had stolen his code, nor did he prevent Arian from banning me from SocioSpace.
I felt that I hadn't done anything wrong and was being kept out of SocioSpace unfairly, and I said so publicly. I believed I was entitled to do that, since SPR's rules specifically guaranteed freedom of speech to players. However, Arian then attempted to use a no-contact order to prevent me from talking to anybody about what had happened.
Another source of on-going dispute was a project called NewSpace. A number of players, notably including Natasha and Karinne, were unhappy with Arian's control over the SocioSpace area, and they began brainstorming ideas for creating an alternate area for space RP. The discussion and planning went on apparently for a period of several weeks while those involved kept a low profile. When I finally learned about NewSpace, I was enthusiastic -- but it was only a couple of days later that Arian learned about NewSpace and threw one of his famous tantrums, threatening to pull everything he had built from the MUCK, which would have immediately destroyed the existing space area.
Even though NewSpace violated none of SPR's rules and was, again, perfectly in accordance with SPR's traditions of cooperative building, the stink raised over it was so odious that the group fell apart and the project was dropped. Furthermore, even though I'd come in at the end of NewSpace and had contributed nothing of any substance to it, I was somehow branded as a ringleader and enemy-for-life in Arian's mind.
These disputes simmered for a while, until eventually Aerowolf (aka Winged) negotiated a truce -- or at least, a cease-fire agreement. Under this agreement, I would stay out of SocioSpace completely, and Arian would stop bothering me. And all was well for several weeks. Then an incident happened involving a bulletin board. Arian has posted a list of SPR's top builders on a public message board (readable globally, not only in his space area), and he noted proudly that those at the top of the list were active in SocioSpace. At the time I was involved in the early stages of Furscape MUCK, so I sent those builders pagemails inviting them to visit Furscape, where we had a space theme and great need of builders.
Arian then complained to Winged, who then ruled -- inexplicably -- that my pagemails constituted a violation of our agreement: even though I had never gone into Arian's space area, nor had I so much as mentioned it or him in my pagemails to the other players. I regarded this ruling as a remarkable stab in the back from someone who had seemed mostly reasonable up to that point. At that time, in early 2001, I was banned "for life" from SPR -- as I still am, despite having asked the wizards several times to reconsider my case.
During the time after I was banned, I asked a number of people from SPR's staff what was the real reason I had been banned. They each told me a different thing I had been accused of doing. All these things fell into two categories: things I hadn't actually done (such as copying Arian's MUF code), or things I had done that were not against SPR's rules (such as criticizing wizards). A year after my banning, I sent Winged a brief, polite page on FurryMUCK and asked if I could be allowed back to SPR. He responded that he was phoning the FBI to arrest me and throw me in federal prison. It is probably the most absurd thing that's ever happened to me on a MUCK.
After being cast out from SPR, I thew my energies into Furscape, where I took on the persona of Zobeid (four-armed raccoon) and was soon appointed chief MUF wizard. I was utterly unqualified for the job, but I was all we had, so I started learning. What followed was a crash course in MUCK operations. A huge amount of the MUCK's program environment was broken, and it took me about a year to get everything mostly fixed. I had admired SPR's program environment and set out to create something similar on Furscape -- which I'm proud to say I achieved, and then some. I also eventually came to host Furscape's server in my home, and took the role of site wizard as well as MUF wizard.
|See the article about Zobeid.|