It's especially frustrating when something as beautiful as IC interaction between player characters is ruined in the name of fair play. For example, on a MUD I play (which shall remain nameless), you will be severely punished for going into an area with other characters who have never been there before, telling them anything about the area, or mentioning anything to do with any of the set "quests" the MUD offers.

As a result, you cannot group up with anyone to go do anything at all. All IC interaction happens in the main town of the game only. People won't tell you anything beyond if they're familiar with a place, in case they let slip something you might not have discovered for yourself. And even then, neither one of you can lead the other anywhere, because they might know something about the place that the other doesn't yet.

Doesn't this defeat the purpose of playing a multiplayer game in the first place? Is this really how "roleplaying" should be? What about the standard "helpful, experienced old guy" whose prototype makes an appearance in so much of the sci-fi/fantasy novels and films? Can't someone roleplay that?

Down with silly rules.