The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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6:59pm on Wednesday, 4th April, 2007:
News arrives today that Middlesbrough's megaphones-attached-to-CCTV-cameras scheme has been so successful at shaming people into not being antisocial that it's going to be extended to other towns and cities. Practically no litter is dropped in central Middlesbrough now, which alone saves more money than the megaphone system costs to operate.
Oh great. What next, "The gentleman in the blue jacket: smoking is bad for you"?
This reminds me of some of the tricks the occasional MUD player would get up to. They discovered that if they attacked a player many levels lower than they were, the wizzes would tell them off and dock them points (or worse) — but not always. Sometimes, there were no wizzes around watching them, in which case they could get away with it. But how to know whether you're being watched or not? Simple! Do something that breaks a much lesser rule and see if you're picked up on it — using a profanity in a tell to a friend, for example. If a wiz warned you to mind your language, OK, you were being watched; if not, it was fine to attack nearby lowlife and take their stuff.
In Middlesbrough, all you have to do is drop a piece of litter. If someone tells you to pick it up then you're being watched on CCTV; if they don't, feel free to mug the rich-looking guy walking past.
It's so tempting to go to Middlesbrough on Remembrance Day, stand in direct view of a CCTV camera, then speak during the two minutes' silence.
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