‘Protectors’ an independent player group?

Deadlines are truely a wonderful thing! Because otherwise I’m certain nothing would ever get published! I’ve currently got 4 chapters up and running on the screen because I’ve figured out that’s the best way for me to work, it helps me see the flow of my arguments – and it also messes things up all the freakin time! I’m so sick and tired of second guessing all my statements – I just wanna get this over with already, so I can move on! But sometimes I just have to face the fact that I’ve overlooked some crucial, fundamental and important facts! It’s devastating finding these things so late in the process that tears seem to flow constantly (so glad I’m a woman) and I’m amazed I still have hair on my head as pulling them seems to satisfy my bursts of anger! Reasonable arguments like I shouldn’t care so much and I should stop overthinking things just refuses to hit home with me! Argh! So…after revealing my psychological and personal breakdown let me present you with my current dilemma!

When looking at The Sims Online population I basically used four excellent works to breakdown a sort of typology. Is it enough? Most certainly not! But, you know, some decisions you just have to live with; Richard Bartle, Nick Yee, T.L. Taylor and Timothy Burke. Barlte is of course the obvious choice, but his four groups have a tendency to overlap, which I was trying to avoid. So I basically broke things down to different play methods with help from Nick Yee and T.L. Taylor and I used Timothy Burke’s virtual world player economies as my framework. Through using arguments like ‘exploiting’ is a gaming method used by most players but for different play econimical purposes I concluded that griefers were a more adequate description, one which Bartle’s Killers absolutely nails. I’ve also got this whole bots and gold farmers are an entirely seperate group thing going – but I’ll talk about that some other time (TIME! TIME! TIME! SOMEONE GIVE ME A TIME MACHINE SO I CAN CATCH UP).
Further down the line in a different chapter on virtual world governance I bring up The Sims Online Mafia, which used griefing methods to obtain some civilian order, but I wouldn’t categorise as griefers. I would like to categorise them as protectors for the ‘moral economy’ faction, but at the same time they most certainly could be looked upon as powergamers or maximizers as well. So I’m wondering, could there be a group of players, an economy of sorts of ‘protection’ gamers? Or maybe ‘helpers’? There were several such groups in TSO, The Sims Shadow government, for example, although I have to admit that I never really understood them. But there truely are players who consider themselves protectors and who’s enjoyment of the game depands on their ability to help others. But you can’t just come into a virtual world and become a ‘protector’ – it’s usually those who’ve played longest who become such ‘protectors’.
Urgh! Scratching my head violently now! I’m off to the shower and see if I can scrub away my insanity and stupidity! Please excuse me! I’m going to publish this because…well…it’s just therapeutic getting this stuff off my chest! But I have an intense desire to google and dig into my endless source of resources to see if someone else discusses this as well! Will I then definitely loose my self confidence and mind? Or will several lightbulbs just fire electricity into these lazy typing fingers of mine?

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