Online Text Games - Security Behind the Screen
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 http://www.IronRealms.com.
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