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Mar 03, 2007

Comments

1.

As Peztopiary's delegate to the UN, I can't speak for the member nations of the UN as a whole, but I can tell you why the proud Peztopiarians wouldn't vote for a resolution worded in that fashion. It has no class, no soul, no style, and no pizzazz. It is in a word, boring. The NationStates world is already set up so that if you want too you'll never have to exchange a telegram or talk to another nation. You can be completely isolationist, and unaffected by the deeds of those around you. If you play the game that way, you aren't likely to join the UN in the first place. The UN is inherently for roleplayers. Plus since there is no way to win, the min-maxers tend to get bored.

2.

Mark --

I don't know if, in a more immersive VW, you 1) could add a role-play reqt. w/o some kind of group appraisal at some point, or 2) avoid it devolving into something more instrumental.

Re 1: I assume you mean that without a peer element, you'd have a system where the game rewards solo role play? So what *is* role-play for a solo player? I'm willing to accept the possibility, but you've got to realize it is kind of odd compared to most role play -- you're positing that the player knows the rules, knows the objectives, but is willing to take actions that aren't designed to *win*, but rather designed to perform a role?

You know, come to think of it, perhaps the Ultima games did do this...

Re 2: Can you force players to role-play? Again, I feel like I need a professional ludologist to help me puzzle that one out. If the game requires certain behaviors, you can "force" the players to engage in those winning behaviors to succeed at the game. But is the performance of role-playing behaviors actually role-play, or might it just be "going through the motions" and not genuine. How do you tell? Does that distinction exist?

Here's a Q back at you -- is what you're describing here really an instance of roleplay or is it a simulation of political rhetoric? In other words, if this kind of thing *is* roleplay (because the instrumental objectives diverge from the public dissembling) wouldn't some similar real situations in the real UN be describable as role-play as well?

3.

> Here's a Q back at you -- is what you're describing here really an instance of roleplay or is it a simulation of political rhetoric? In other words, if this kind of thing *is* roleplay (because the instrumental objectives diverge from the public dissembling) wouldn't some similar real situations in the real UN be describable as role-play as well?

They might indeed be describable that way, though that's a question for people more scholarly than myself. However, feel free to read the question as, "How can we get political rhetoric into our worldy MMOs?" What I'm looking for here is an element of consequential gameplay that revolves more around the words you say/write than it does around knowing the right button-presses and mouse-clicks.

btw, I'm not following you wrt solo role-play. Definitely not something I was thinking about when I wrote the post.

4.

Hmm... Well, there's ATITD, which puts politics into gameplay, and other would know more than me, but wouldn't Eve, SWG, Shadowbane, and most all MUSHes entail some degree of political gameplay?

So, if, e.g., you want to be the mayor of a player-created city in SWG, you need to curry favor with the citizen and get votes, at which point you try to spec your city:


City Specialization

As the politician gains skills he will eventually earn City Specializations (specs). A city can only have one spec at a time. A spec gives the city a bonus in some area at the exchange of an increase maintenance cost. The city spec may only be changed once a week.

Sample Rich - 70k cr / week Sampling in the city provides 20% more resources and a 10% greater chance of finding resources.

Manufacturing Center - 50k credits / week Crafting done in a 'Manufacturing Center' earns a 10% bonus to prototype assembly results, significantly reducing the chance of failures.

etc.


I didn't get very far into SWG, so I'm not sure how much role-play goes into the mayoral campaigns, but I imagine there should be a little. I imagine if you simulate a political system, you're going to get, at least, conversations that refer to the simulated features. Again, though, I'm not sure that amounts to actual role-play.

5.

Interestingly enough, in the early days of the United Nations, resolutions weren't written in that form. The more formal, properly role-played UN resolution was a player-driven phenomenon that surfaced in the later months of 2003, as was the trend away from arguments based on "real world" data and more towards role-played information, as many UN posters are not frequent role-players in other forums.

[Lord] Michael Evif
Goobergunchian UN Ambassador

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