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An Open Letter to the Community and a Proposed Compact

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Hello DU Community

 

Yesterday, I had my first encounter with the dark side of any internet community within the Discord server.

 

It was a statement of overt racial vilification - that is - a public act that encourages or incites others to hate people because of their race, nationality, country of origin, colour or ethnic origin.

 

To my own shame I did not deal well with these comments as, to me, they were personal and extremely offensive by any reasonable person test. And I decided then and there to do something about it here.

 

And therein lies the problem. I, indeed none of us, can stop others from acting in a certain way.

 

Nor do I feel that we should as players hold NovaQuark as being responsible for policing our actions as a community. The promise of the game is that it is community driven, so this is our mantle to bear.

 

However - what I, and you, can do, is make a commitment; an unambiguous statement; on the kind of community we want this to be, and the kind of behavior which we, as a community, see as appropriate.

 

At the same time - this is a game about rebuilding humanity. And from a pre-alpha thematic perspective, I do feel that there is one document which may well have traveled with us to Alioth, or conceivably would be something the first colonists would create, especially when one reads the preamble. This is an semi-edited document to make it for MMO use, and Dual Universe-ish, without changing the intent of the original. That said, please send feedback or concerns so it can be shaped.

 

And so it is that I present to you the Dual Univers(al) Declaration of Human Rights and Community Charter. All organisations, characters, and especially PLAYERS, are invited to "sign" via reply to this thread in the manner I do. Organisations and characters should not feel compelled to sign if it does not fit their background - this in no way means that you as a PLAYER should not want to make this commitment however.

 

Suggested edits are, of course, welcome - I do not anticipate that changes would change the spirit of the intent. Some articles have been removed where I could see no relevance in DU.

 

EDIT 1: Based on feedback so far - please think about how this would apply as an IN GAME background piece, as we trust that NQ and the EULA will address player behavior. *Should* further feedback suggest otherwise - we can revisit as a player code of conduct.

 

Oh - and this is only meant as a starting point. The end product should be "plain english" and simple to understand, able to be adopted by any org, group etc for use as a starting point for the same.

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

PREAMBLE

 

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

 

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of humanity, and the advent of a new world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

 

Whereas it is essential, if humanity is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

 

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

 

Whereas the Dual Universe community have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

 

Whereas signatories - be they players, characters or organizations, have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with NovaQuark, the Developers, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

 

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

 

Now, Therefore THE COMMUNITY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all organizations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, organisational and community, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the players themselves and among the characters and organizations under their control. 

 

Article 1.

 

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of family.

 

Article 2.

 

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

 

Article 3.

 

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

 

Article 4.

 

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

 

Article 5.

 

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

 

Article 6.

 

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

 

Article 7.

 

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

 

Article 8.

 

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy through the Community and Developers for acts violating the fundamental rights granted them by the Community constitution or by law.

 

Article 9.

 

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

In-game clarification : No one shall be prevented from playing through acts of "spawn camping", nor shall players be prevented from participation in the game through deliberate means restricting their freedom of movement such as respawn points placed in spaces which cannot be exited.

 

Article 10.

 

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by the Community and as required, if out of game, NovaQuark, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against them.

 

Article 11.

 

  1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for their defence.
  2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
  3. In-game clarification - no organization shall create a legal and / or judicial system by which characters can be held indefinitely, and players effectively prevented from playing the game.
 

Article 12.

 

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon their honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

 

Community note: Account hacking, doxxing, cyber-bullying and other such activities which prevent players from enjoying the game, or discourage immersive, inclusive, community based play are covered within this Article.

 

Article 13.

 

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each territory.
  2. Everyone has the right to leave any organization, including their own, and to return to their organization, territory, or the common safe zone.
 

Article 14.

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other organizations asylum from persecution.
  2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the Community and NovaQuark, including griefing.
Article 15.

  1. Everyone has the right to join an organization.
  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of organization membership as a means to seize assets or property, nor denied the right to change organizations.
Article 16.

  1. Players and/or characters of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to form relationships.
  2. Relationships shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending partners.
 

Article 17.

 

  1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of their property by means other than in-game role play or legitimate game actions.
Article 18.

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest their religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

 

Article 19.

 

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

 

Article 20.

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21.

  1. Everyone has the right to take part in the governing of the Community, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  2. Everyone has the right of equal access to the public services of the Community, and the Community safe-zones in game.
  3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine Community elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 23.

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for themselves and group an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests.
Article 24.

 

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

No player should feel that they cannot log-out and enjoy real life as they require.

 

Article 27.

  1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which they are the author.
Article 28.

 

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order (the COMMUNITY) in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

 

Article 29.

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  2. In the exercise of their rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the Community.
Article 30.

 

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

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I, RAMMFORGE, refuse the premise of this entire thread and commit to uphold the universal laws nature sets forth for beings and their interactions on any field, real or digital, not arbitrary limitations based on trying to hurt as few people's feelings as possible.

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Anon, I like you, you're a nice person and what happened in Discord shouldn't have happened. But this seems like an extremely unnecessary thing to do, as everything important is handled by the EULA and NQ ToS. And while a lot of the things you wrote are good thoughts, they don't need to be stated and agreed upon in such a matter. Some of your points outright defy things like dictatorships, pirate gangs, bounty hunting and other "Non-democratic or non-legal" concepts, which nonetheless should be an accepted part of the game. 

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At first I thought this was some post about the general respect and manners people should behave on discord / forum, but then I read that you meant DU with that.

You need admins there (and in DU) who ban inappropriate language and harassments. Some people really overshoot the thin line between in-game mocking, griefing and a real, true harassment. I mock people for fun in-game, grief them and have fun with them - but all IN character because I'm a pirate. This should be endorsed by the EULA, because it adds metagame. I can't stand people though who get personal. Like you know, memes/harassments about the government in Germany from 1940. Living in Austria where such statements are banned and under strict prosecution, I think those should also be banned in-game because, surprise surprise, it's a game.

 

So here we go:

 

I, LETHYS, will track the goal of harassing, griefing and mocking around with players in-game on a more or less friendly basis where no fucks are given. I will never mock them because of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. If offered a chance, I will have slaves, burn down cities and kill people as I see fit.

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Yarr Harr, looks good... wait one minute...

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each territory.

Noo! Cursed, now I can't stop these people from moving in my pirate controlled space. accursed.

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Woah how long did it take you to write this?

 

Bout 5-10 minutes. This stuff to me is like Voxelmancy for you wizards.

 

All - some very good points there - re-reading back - I actually have to agree that it's kinda impossible to do something like this both in game and out of game in a single document. Also - yes - once there IS an EULA and NQ ToS in place, much of this wouldn't be needed.

 

@Lethys ; @SilverRangerOne - I'm the same as you - in-game RP is in-game RP and I'm prob not a "legit" character. That article @Silver is more about "you can't make a little exclusive area and grief people by camping it, not allowing access" - especially if it's like a strategic point like the only trade center etc. Spirit of community and all that.

 

Following the logic through (if we are talking seperating the two - player conduct vs "in-game background")

 

a) Do we think colonists would of been screened or otherwise had in place some sort of international social compact akin to the Dec. of Human Rights before leaving Earth.

 

B) In the period between planet fall and when the pre-alpha Orgs founding cities etc - would there be an in-game compact based on the Dec of Human Rights in place in the safe zone. Perhaps that's the "IC" mechanism by which the safe zone operates. 

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Anon, I like you, you're a nice person and what happened in Discord shouldn't have happened. But this seems like an extremely unnecessary thing to do, as everything important is handled by the EULA and NQ ToS. And while a lot of the things you wrote are good thoughts, they don't need to be stated and agreed upon in such a matter. Some of your points outright defy things like dictatorships, pirate gangs, bounty hunting and other "Non-democratic or non-legal" concepts, which nonetheless should be an accepted part of the game. 

 

Specifically on your points - accepted as part of the game - yes. But in terms of the game world - the colonists wouldn't just tear up documents such as this. What makes things like a dictatorship so "bad" in the real world, is that they DON'T play by these rules, and it is then the justification (Human Rights Violations) which the international community uses to stop such people. (Pirates are similar but even more specific - while the UNHRC isn't globally signed by all countries, the International Law of the Sea which prohibits acts of Piracy is. Money talks ;) )

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I have no problems signing this.

 

Of course I can see why some of our friends refuse to sign.

 

Having said that, bigotry and the likes have no place in a game. And personally I would prefer not to interact with those people. But it is not an easy situation.

Without going to deep into it lets just say the right of free speech also includes situations to hear things you dont agree with.

 

Will I play or trade with those people?

Never.

 

If people know CODE then I can use them as as an example of what is on the very edge of what I find tolerable.

Even in a sandbox game I find thinly veiled fascisme too much.

 

But thats just me. ;)

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I have no problems signing this.

 

Of course I can see why some of our friends refuse to sign.

 

Having said that, bigotry and the likes have no place in a game. And personally I would prefer not to interact with those people. But it is not an easy situation.

Without going to deep into it lets just say the right of free speech also includes situations to hear things you dont agree with.

 

Will I play or trade with those people?

Never.

 

If people know CODE then I can use them as as an example of what is on the very edge of what I find tolerable.

Even in a sandbox game I find thinly veiled fascisme too much.

 

But thats just me. ;)

 

On point - I firmly believe in freedom of speech and the free and frank exchange of ideas. As long as they are based on logic and fact, not a logical fallacy like in this case (faulty generalization), and, in the spirit of Art. 30 - people don't use the Freedom of Speech as an excuse just to be horrible human beings to others.

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Anon, I like you, you're a nice person and what happened in Discord shouldn't have happened. But this seems like an extremely unnecessary thing to do, as everything important is handled by the EULA and NQ ToS. And while a lot of the things you wrote are good thoughts, they don't need to be stated and agreed upon in such a matter. Some of your points outright defy things like dictatorships, pirate gangs, bounty hunting and other "Non-democratic or non-legal" concepts, which nonetheless should be an accepted part of the game. 

I was going to write something similar, but I think this summed it up perfectly. Harassment and toxicity are bad, and a lot of the points made in this "constitution" are good thoughts, however, that is already covered by the EULA. Some of the other points are just not accurate for this type of game despite the good intentions. For example: 

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each territory.

This is only true if the owner of that territory allows that. If not, well, tough.

 

All that being said, you have obviously put a lot of thought into this and feel it is the right way for the world to be. I can respect that. In fact, I encourage it. I encourage you, if you really believe in this, to try and spread your ideology throughout the galaxy. Many players will disagree and fight against you, but that's part of the fun. Competing ideologies enrich the game and make it better for everyone. 

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in the spirit of Art. 30 - people don't use the Freedom of Speech as an excuse just to be horrible human beings to others.

They shouldnt but they do and they will.

Real life is such a beautiful mess when it comes down to it.

 

There is a big difference between tolerance and agreeing with something. That is a skill that plenty of humans still need to learn. Unfortunately.

 

But like I said in spirit I completly agree.

 

'Be the change you want to see' ;)

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Yeah, some stuff in there is taking it a little too far, but overall, I agree.  Being a woman working in a male dominated industry, I've been fighting bigotry for years.  Not fun.  So what I will say is that I will never harass any player because of racism or bigotry or anything like that.   Don't care what religion you are, what your politics are, how much money you have ...

 

However, if you're an ass, I'll probably kill you and take all your stuff  - or at least try  :P

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Yeah, some stuff in there is taking it a little too far, but overall, I agree. 

 

 

Thanks. It's version 0.1 at this point - expect it will get pared back, modified, tailored :)

 

However, if you're an ass, I'll probably kill you and take all your stuff  - or at least try   :P

 

(Something tells me you'll probably do that even if I'm not an ass ;) )

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Hey Anon,  you are a good friend and I enjoy our discussions in public and pm's regarding our gaming history and DU.   I have a hard time believing that anyone within the DU community is hell bent on personally attacking someone based on their ethnicity, color, creed or whatever.  It's so easy for chats to get quickly out of hand and I am of the opinion that no one is that vile unless completely proven otherwise.  I did not read the entire exchange of what was said on Discord but I'll wager that the things said were not directed at you personally but it really bothered you a lot and I'm sorry that happened for you.  This is supposed to be a fun place to come and discuss our mutual interest in DU.   Did the conversation end with,   <jeez, I'm sorry if you got offended, that wasen't my intent?>   If not, then maybe it should have, because it show's a mutual respect and concern and this could have been buried post haste.

 

Your Bill of Rights is an amazing document.  If I ever need to have one drafted (or a contract drawn up) for my private island of inhabitants of misfits and lowlifes (lol), you will be my author.  There's nothing wrong inherently with your post content.  I do feel however that the majority is covered already via ToS, Eula, etc. and hopefully common sense and respect.   I  also have a low tolerance for racism, bigotry.   I would rapidly move on.  We have lots to discuss and organize regarding this great game that we want to see materialize.

 

 

@Lethys: We are on the same page...  

I, LETHYS, will track the goal of harassing, griefing and mocking around with players in-game on a more or less friendly basis where no fucks are given. I will never mock them because of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. If offered a chance, I will have slaves, burn down cities and kill people as I see fit.

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Hey Hunter

 

 Did the conversation end with,   <jeez, I'm sorry if you got offended, that wasen't my intent?>   If not, then maybe it should have, because it show's a mutual respect and concern and this could have been buried post haste.

 

Alas, no.

 

 

Your Bill of Rights is an amazing document.  If I ever need to have one drafted (or a contract drawn up) for my private island of inhabitants of misfits and lowlifes (lol), you will be my author.  There's nothing wrong inherently with your post content.  I do feel however that the majority is covered already via ToS, Eula, etc. and hopefully common sense and respect.   I  also have a low tolerance for racism, bigotry.   I would rapidly move on.  We have lots to discuss and organize regarding this great game that we want to see materialize.

 

Woah there! I cannot claim ANY credit at all for this. I assumed (prehaps wrongly) that people would be familiar with this document as it is one of the most famous in the world - the 1948 United Nations Resolution 217(III) A - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

 

(I personally like the Illustrated Version: http://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/, and this simplified version (which I suspect I'll use above to replace the full text) is what we use in schools in Australia. http://www.civicsandcitizenship.edu.au/verve/_resources/FQ2_Simplified_Version_Dec.pdf

 

And I guess that's why I chose it as a starting point:

  1. In character : Our game is based on the premise that the U.N built the Novarks. And this is a core document they operate under.
  2. Out of character : Every player in the game is likely to come from one of the U.N member states, many of whom use this as the basis of their own constitutions.

Agree it might be a bit much to begin with, but apart from Forum rules, there is no real EULA or ToS for the community at this time, and we need to start somewhere.

 

It's certainly getting people thinking - thanks for the comments! :)

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I understand the frustration you might have experienced from that confrontation on the Discord, but this seems a bit much. Mind you, that's just me. You put some effort in to this and like others have said, I can respect that.

 

But to put it bluntly, it won't be the first nor last time stuff like that happens, and in fact it's only going to occur more often. It is unfortunately the way internet culture has evolved, or just culture in general. Take your pick.

 

I'm not going to sign anything, mainly because I think it is pointless at this stage. This is a matter that needs to be handled by the company, and not players. I'm not saying our community of diversified participants should act like the aforementioned issue you mentioned, but it isn't all that enforceable right now until NQ decides to put something down. 

 

In the mean time, stop being a bunch of shitlers. 

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This sounds great, though I have one small wording issue with Article 13.

 
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each territory.

This would prevent anyone who agreed to this declaration from forming any kind of restricted zone. Is this your intent? or is the intent strictly to prevent players from becoming trapped.

 

As it sounds right now, it would appear as though a player would simply have the right to enter and build a home within a militarized zone, this would grant players the ability to obstruct nearly any construction or mining activities within an any area by right. I could be planning out my warehouse in a territory where I control the TU, and a player could simply invoke article 13 and insist on building their mud hut in the middle of my partly built warehouse?

 

Might i suggest the following change? 

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of otherwise restricted territories, including the right to safely vacate any territory prior to new restrictions with ample notice. These restrictions may not be created in a discriminatory manor.

This allows organizations reasonable accommodation to restrict owned territories, while granting individuals protection from being trapped in newly restricted areas. This also prevents the basis of these restrictions from being discriminatory.

 

I would also recommend this article become the basis of an org, joining the org would be paramount to accepting these rules, and players could use membership in this org to determine whether or not they want to trust or do business with other players.

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Its all a little moot anyway.

You need to be able to back up your authority.

 

You can huff and puff all you want but if you fail to back it up economically or military nobody will take it seriously.

 

Better to look at it as a personal code of conduct.

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You realize that there are groups and corporations that are being specifically designed to piss people off.   My guess is that as in any social interaction, you are going to have individuals who are hard to differentiate from male appendages.  Given that, no matter what you do, or what digital piece of paper you sign, is not going to prevent that--or prevent you from making an alt so no one recognizes you being an ass for when you've had a bad day at work.

 

....and, the above digital piece of paper will also, probably, inspire said individuals to greater assitude since it is obviously important to some people.

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