RE: Good political thinking made more compelling

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Sat Jan 05 2002 - 10:54:17 MST

Reason wrote (4.1.2002/09:43) :
> --> Jacques Du Pasquier []
> > Imagine that you make a big hit with such a game. Suddenly most young
> > people are equipped with the right concepts, and the habit to think
> > dynamically about these things.
> >
> > Make it accessible on the Internet, as a Java application or as a
> > downloable software, so that anyone can play the legislator and have a
> > look at how things evolves. "Make social justice if you can !" Make it
> > fun.
> >
> > Better yet make it a multiplayer game, replacing much of the simulated
> > decisions by decisions actually made by the human players in the given
> > context, and making the experience much more convincing. Any other
> > suggestion ?
> That's a great idea. Go have a look at A Tale in The Desert for an example
> of a MMORPG in development (closed alpha) that focuses on cooperative
> rule-based societal development. Ground is already being broken...

I had a look at this, thanks for the pointer.

It looks nice, but it's not what we need.

Giving a bit more thought to it, I think that you could make a game
the very appeal of which would be the proximity of the game society
with the actual society. The incentive to play would be to try out
ideas one may have about desirable reforms, etc., and even
demonstrating their desirability through the game experience.

Such an incentive is real and would, if the game focuses on the right
aspects, bring lots of players to it. How many people write long posts
on mailing lists about desirable reforms, etc. Some of this energy
would be put into the game. INstead of producing endless contradictory
dialogues, it would product effects in a parallel world, for everyone
to analyze and reflect about.

It could become a sort of inspiration for the real society. Big
reforms and decisions made in the game would be announced in the real
newspapers, as attention on the game unfolding would have accumulated,
because of its realism and consequent relevance.

The game world would integrate people of various countries and even
languages, just as the real world. Most of it would not be
"modelized", it would just consist of the real people making real
decisions. There would be no prefixed plot unfolding, like in "A tale
in the desert". Just occasional resets.

When people get bored with one particular world, they could create
another one. But the zero state would always, by principle, reflect

People in RL would refer some individuals to specific parts of the
game to learn real skills, or test their abilities. RL and the game
would fruitfully interact, and feed each other.

I think it could be so much fun and interest that I'm sure it will

The main idea is : make the game attractive BECAUSE it is close to
real society, so that if you manage to do something in the game you
may convince people to do it in the real society. It is this "real
stake" that would make the game sexy (instead of the thrill of
fighting, or the fantasy and cultural interest).

And incidentally, this would help many people to develop better
political thinking.


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