Leileena wrote:Hahnsoo seems to be very keen on relating the in-game options to real life. Let me tell you however, it is very unlikely people will be able to see what others are wearing in real life, since we have a right on privacy. Nowadays the scanners are only used by security personel. So it's not a suprise GM's do have the ability to inspect. Though for "normal" players, I think it should be the choice of the player weither or not he/she wants to be inspected. I'd be fine with the function aslong as there is a clear option of turning it off.
I'm actually NOT relating this to real life. The technology is analogous and exists today, and certainly will be in widespread use more than 20,000 years in the future, assuming that AO is indeed futuristic in terms of technology. However, people are making the assumption that their comfort level is the same thing as privacy rights. This is false and misleading. You do not have any privacy rights for your in-game characters in a video game, especially one that is run on public servers owned by a corporation.
Real life rights to privacy have no bearing on a video game. It is the distinction between allowing someone to see, say, your in-game health points or your in-game profession, and the game company selling your private e-mail or demographics to an advertiser. The latter is protected, the former is not. There is a world of difference between the government spying on you through your telephone and e-mail (which is probably what they are doing right now, if you live in the United States... just check out the recent Telecom-NSA spying scandal), and being able to see someone else's gear in an online game.
It is of no more (or less) importance than having someone you may not necessarily know or like access your Myspace page to learn more about you. What you choose to wear on your character is your own choice when you play this game, and you play this game with other people. It is not your private playground. It's not like Funcom is forcing you to reveal your real life gender (like in a recent Chinese MMO). It's what your avatar is wearing, not you, and your avatar is owned by Funcom. Thinking otherwise is similar to thinking that anything you post on your Myspace page is only going to be seen by yourself or those that you like.
Throughout the history of roleplaying games, the concept of Character Sheets have always been public knowledge. This is knowledge that is shared across the table so that everyone knows they are playing by the same context, the same rules. Being able to inspect your gear is just like being able to see someone else's character sheet. I don't know of what others opinions are on this, but most folks consider this a benign event, and people who DO get defensive about their character sheets are often hiding something detrimental to the game as a whole (those secret stashes of gold you were hiding or that magic weapon that you wrote in without the other players' or GM's knowledge). Even the most hardcore roleplayers that I know do not hide this information from others... they share it freely, because roleplaying is a game of trust and cooperation, even among adversaries.
I personally hope that everyone who comes across my character inspects my character, and learns exactly what makes me tick. It will save me some random tells, at the very least. Newbies shouldn't have to beg to see your gear, and you shouldn't have to deal with folks wanting to inspect your gear through private tells.