Online Text Games - Security Behind the Screen

Anonymous online games
By Lorna Cowie and Jeremy B Saunders


 It will happen to all of us at some point in time. You get along well with a people in an addicting game (or online text game) and enjoy their company and then 'it' appears. The moment they send you a message and say 'Hey, want to add me on MSN/AIM/IM?' your text gaming life turns from being IC (in character or in the game) to OOC (out of character). Before you accept and add this new friend, there are a few things to think about.


 You have a right to say 'no'. If you wish to keep yourself private and completely IC within an online text game, then do so. A persons privacy should never be breached through a game, and if it ever is then contact the administration (or the equivalent) immediately and explain the situation. You should be able to find details about issues and administration in any MUD's help system.


Establishing Boundaries in Online Addicting Games

 Have separate email addresses. If you plan on allowing friends to contact you out of the MUD game through email then consider having a separate email address for them to use. That way you can keep control over the contact they have with you. Some email accounts allow you to have multiple email addresses and coordinate them through one address.


 Consider carefully who you add to any instant messaging service and use the 'block contact' function without feeling guilty. Being in control of who you speak to is important to your own privacy. Do not feel guilty if you have to 'block' someone because they are becoming too friendly. If they continue and start harassing you from within game, you can tell them politely that you are not interested in that kind of friendship. Should they continue further, you can 'snub', 'ignore' or use what the equivalent of the command is to block someone in the text game.


 Do not give out private information such as telephone numbers, a home address or photos if you are not COMPLETELY sure that your friend can be trusted. Trust takes time, so if you are asked simply say you would prefer not to share that kind of information if you do not want to hand it out. Remember, if they are your friend then they will understand.


 Don't ever give out your text game account details. The character you have created has probably taken you a long time and a lot of effort and allowing someone else control of that character is asking for trouble. Who knows what you will log into, or if you will be able to log in at all as many online text games allow password changes to the account or character from within game.


Stay Anonymous in Text Games

 So remember, making friends is good. They can share your game experiences and help your characters grow. They can inspire, enlighten and keep you company, but please make sure you are safe behind that screen so that you too can be a good friend and have a good time. Saying 'no' can be said without guilt, it is after all your life and your privacy you are protecting.


Learn more by trying out some of the most addicting games, absolutely free!


Lorna Cowie is a text game enthusiast and currently plays the most addicting games from

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good article for sure

I remember thinking OOC clans were where the cool kids hang out, and yeah, I guess they did. But basically Lusternia degenerated into a chatroom for me and all semblance of IC-ness or RP slowly disappeared, so now I try to stay out of them. But I can't admit I made a few great friends, yes. :)

OOC clans are great as long as people don't go and break the barrier of IC / OOC with them. It can be oh so tempting to just be lazy and ask something you could have roleplayed on there. While not always bad, when this becomes the norm, or when things there are taken back into character, that's where it can get bad.

It's hard to trust anyone


Aside from the general internet threat of stalkers, sleazebags, and criminals, giving out your OOC contact details to people means you're bringing the game over into the rest of your online life as well. You can log out, but you'll still have well-meaning friends saying "oh there's a raid", "the forest just got exterminated", "we just lost 5 shrines :(". It becomes inescapable, because typing "qq" and hitting the X no longer disconnects you from everything.

One of the biggest threats to enjoyment of Achaea is burnout. When you start advancing politically and take on positions of responsibility in a House, city, and order, "duty" slowly creeps up to sit beside "fun". I NEED to log in today to handle this. I MUST log in to send that message. I HAVE TO speak to that person. Not logging in becomes this criminal act of irresponsibility, causing guilt and anguish. IMO, spreading the game all through your social life only plays into that.

It also bothers me that whoever's writing or editing these articles keeps throwing the term "addicting games" around like it's some happy fun label, when addiction can be a serious and severe problem. Who are you trying to appeal to? Heroin users?


I agree with this comment, 100%. And I want my free credit.


haha same here!

Yes, the mantra IRE addicting games does not shine at all. Please stop using that expression, it really helps nobody, neither users and/or IRE. We all know that the first dose of IRE games is always free, I already made that comparison. I tought that was enough, but it seems I was wrong.

I also agree with all the other comments. Probably, the more you get involved in politics, the more the enjoyment lessens. 

You sir, are wonderful, and make an excelent point in your last paragraph. Can we be more creative? Lets start using heroine games now! Addicting games, is getting bland, and well to generalized and over used?

Haha, you read my mind with the addicting game bit. It's annoying and the articles are starting to sound like cheap plugs rather than anything worth reading. This one, however, is a good one.

This message speaks wonders and is absolutely true.

Agree completely with this.

Thanks for this article. Might seem like common sense to most people, but never hurts to hear it.

Right here. Also, credit, but my point still. This.

keeping it ic is way lett complicated. I have enough rl complications already.

Nice tips for anyone on the internet


Don't re-use passwords either. Get browser extensions to help you with managing them/ using unique ones for websites.

Even Steam got hacked recently - don't trust anyone to keep your personal data secure. 

Best tool I've seen for this is keepass. Available from  And its free.

Just remember that no matter how strong a password you put on Keepass, it's still a piece of software, and thus may contain flaws. Ironically, in theory it is actually safer to write down your passwords (for home use at least) and store them in a secure place, like where you keep important documents.


All girls are G.I.R.L.'s. At least 95% it seems.

You would think this would be a good shield for girls to hide behind. It isn't.

Don't be peer pressured into taking something OOC.  If you want contact with your efriends on IRE, there are always clans.

Haven't had any of these problems. From my experience, Aetolians are pretty cool! (That doesn't mean you should disregard this article, just that I've been lucky!)

Squirrel has his secrets.

Theres a lotta bad in this ole world.

Boundaries are a good thing

I must say, NO TAKES MY DONUTS IN RL!!!! And, this article has spawned some amusing comments to read. I agree that most of these articles seems like pointless fillers, but at least reading and commenting pays me a credit! It's a donut. *chew*

I've only ever allowed 4 IC relationships to go OOC, and of those, only 3 to go out of game. I'm very particular about the kind of people I chose to talk to about my life, or theirs, so I do pretty well at following the advice of this article. Overall, it's best to just stay IC.

great great article. Points for all to remember

We are not anonymous

Better than some of the other articles it does give some good advice.

I've found myself doing a lot of this. I probably need to do more of it, thouse. Glad to have the advice

I strongly agree with the sentiment that one should choose very carefully whom they choose to interact with through OOC mediums. I should have taken the "use the block function without feeling guilty" more seriously back in the day. There were a couple of people that detracted from my enjoyment of a game I played in the past just because of the nature of their personalities and their insisting on speaking to me OOC-ly, even though I didn't really interact with them in the game itself. One crazy person even made up another screenname to contact me on after I blocked them. :I

Wonderful advice! There are wackos out there!


I'm a tall, blonde, incredibly attractive 21-year old woman in real life, but I'm not telling anyone so I can keep from being hit on >.> <.< >.>

I talk to a few people OOC, but try to keep most IC.

I keep my OOC relationships and chat over MSN to a bare minimum with just a couple people, and only occasionally. It keeps the game more fun for me.


I've made some really good friends over Achaea! I don't regret giving out my personal information to the ones I still talk to. The others, well, these days it's relatively easy to do crowd control. But it's true you should be careful.

Defiitely good article, but going OOC ins't always a bad thing, if you do it carefully. My good friend IC has now been my boyfriend almost two years. making the IC to OOC transition was the best thing ever for me.