The Demi-Pharaoh Speaks!

by walkerspaight on 27/01/06 at 9:35 am

A Tale in the Desert is one of those games that chooses to tread the dangerous boards of player-run government, at least to a limited extent. The game’s demi-pharaohs, of which there have been some 20 over the last three years, each have the power to exile up to seven of their countrymen, should they see fit. But, according to full-fledged pharaoh Andrew Tepper, that power has never been used. Until now.

"The circumstances were unremarkable," Teppy writes in a recent communique. "A player, Pili, was accused of griefing by another player. This other player contacted Demi-Pharaoh Deeva, who investigated, and determined to her satisfaction that the griefing did in fact take place. She traveled by chariot to Sinai, and used the power of the Demi-Pharaoh to permanently exile Pili."

Player reaction on the ATITD boards has been mixed. The banned player seems to have deserved his fate, but many citizens are also wary, reserving judgement until they see whether this first demi-pharaonic ban opens the floodgates to more such actions, possibly with less justification. ATITD has taken an interesting tack in curbing abuses by demi-pharaohs: with the power to ban only seven players, demi-pharaohs don’t exactly hold a Sword of Damocles that’s very sharp. But seven unjustified bans is seven too many, and it remains to be seen whether this particular experiment in player governance will work better than any other. "I wonder what this all means," Tepper writes. "Is it just a single griefer that will soon be forgotten, or have we broken a taboo that has existed now for three years? Are we now more willing to let power be wielded? If one of you could . . . observe the character of Egypt over the next year, I think it would be a most fascinating study. Let’s have a chat a year from now."

Talk to you later, then.

2 Responses to “The Demi-Pharaoh Speaks!”

  1. Urizenus

    Jan 27th, 2006

    Interesting story when juxtaposed with the new user mods on the forums. If those mods have the power to ban people from the forums they ipso facto have the power to ban them from the game, making them our own Demi-Pharaohs.

  2. Cocoanut

    Jan 27th, 2006

    That they are. And yes, that power many of them doubtless do want. (“If I were LL, you would have been gone long ago.”) Worse, they believe it to be a right thing to want.


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