Question of Marriage

I am curious to see if people think that without marriage citizens will live monogamously or polygamously... Or without a partner at all? How do we think that our society would "naturally" establish romantic relationships?

Based on my own observations from being on various humanoid avatar-based forums and long-term chat groups, I believe that having a lack of state supported marriage in a game is perfectly fine. I have seen people--on their own, mind you--get married in forums of their own volition, hold role-played ceremonies, and the whole bit. They adopt other members as part of their family. Sometimes they have multiple spouses. Not having a state-certified, legally binding marriage isn't going to stop others from engaging in it. Because it is a game, though, I feel that it's more acceptable for this sort of practice to happen. Although I would like to see such a lack of state marriage in "real life," I feel more people would object to it since it would actually concern their physical bodies, wants, money, and experiences. But, then again, if agoraXchange is working to change the "real world," then I hope that this game would serve as a good model.

To return to the first post, I think monogamy would still be the dominant trend. We're still basing our definitions and our value systems on the offline world (whatever our definitions and values may be), and a large part of the world favors monogamy. I think there will be a greater number of instances of polygamy in the game, but for the most part (again, based on what I've observed) people are still monogamous. There are also a greater number of people engaging in lighthearted, briefer marriages, but most of the people involved know it's all in good fun--kind of how friends will enter a relationship with each other on facebook for a short while. However, this doesn't detract from those who truly want to have a relationship with each other--and in those instances, everyone knows it's serious (again, like on facebook). I even know one couple who met in online forums, got married online (that is, in a forum, the ceremony sanctioned by friends rather than any moderator or higher authority) and ended up getting married in real life later as well. Having marriages that are not enforced by the state doesn't detract from the connections people build with one another. People, for the most part, don't diverge too much from the way they think of themselves offline.

I think not having institutionalized marriage allows for the freedom of individuals to choose how they want to define their relationships--if they want to define it at all. They might also be more accepting of other kinds of relationships offline, too, since they've been exposed to the idea of it online or in a game--in a chat group I've been in for years, almost everyone got married and adopted into two families, complete with multiple wives. It lasted for about 6 months before people began divorcing and breaking up (all still playing around, of course). After that, though, I know I became more familiarized with the idea of polygamy. Since we roleplayed it, we had to put ourselves in another's shoes, which makes you more understanding of other situations.

if there was no law for monogamy or polygamy, yes some people would totally do live monogamously or polygamously. people do it now illegally now (for religious reasons mostly), but if there is the law to prevent it(because society believe that marriage is the foundation of any society and it is kind of unique and based upon the complimentary nature for the sexes and offers the proper relationship for people ), i think society could naturally establish romantic relationships

If we have no sort of religious norms or government incentive, I feel like the failure rate for monogamous relationship would be higher. If monogamous relationships came out of the natural feeling of companionship, love, and not wanting to be alone, what would be the reasons to stay in a relationship once these feelings go away? I think that only people with high values of commitment would be able to make this sort of relationship, similar to marriage, last.

While I believe that some may be drawn toward a polygamous relationship, I would also argue that polygamy is normally encouraged throughout religious and family structures, therefore people would draw away from these types of relationships as well.

Personally, and this is heavily influenced by my own views on the subject, I don't think much would change for people that are "in love". I think the lack of a legal marriage would only affect those who use marriage as a means of something other then stating their feelings publicly - like moving along in status, acquiring money, etc. Feelings would still exist, binding two people together if they choose to let it. Whether or not they would be monogamous would then be a choice the two people make together, based on their own views. The lack of a legal status would only help people not try to hang on to failed relationships, since now "splitting up" wouldn't present any sort of legal troubles, etc.
It would mostly depend on people, their views, and their opinions. Since human beings tend to seek out companionship, I believe there would still be families, in the classic "two parents" sense of the word, who choose to be monogamous with each other, raise their kids together, and share the burdens of every day live. However, it would also leave those who choose to by polygamous (like some in the Mormon culture, where a family would have sister-wives), would be free to practice this without judgement and legal troubles.

Tatiana Chibisova
COCU177 - WI12; Ayhan Aytes

I believe the purpose of the no marriage idea is that no government can restrict us from doing whatever we want. As you say, we can have monogamous or polygamous or stay single. How we decide to live our lives is for ourselves to decide.

One of the big debates in modern politics is the question of same-sex marriage. Many politicians are bringing personal beliefs into this debate and some are not allowing others to have the right to marry because of their own belief system. In this game world, their are no politicians to decide this because anything is allowed. This game world is the ultimate freedom, the freedom to do anything without the government stepping in and saying "No, that is not allowed in our country"

I think the "marriage" here is only a legal commitment that secures a romantic relationship and protects the legal rights of whoever engage in this relationship. And of course, romantic relationships are established naturally but may not last as long as the ones with marriages since no one is required to commit to another. People then can have as many partners as they want, and their partners will not have to be the opposite sex or even human beings. I mean even in our current society, there was still a man married to his Nintendo nds in 2008, and their marriage certainly is not legally approved, but this kind of romantic relationship still occurred naturally.

People would most likely commit less and the feeling of closeness as a family become more distance. The bond between 2 people with feelings will fade faster and trust become less significant in a relationship. the feeling of being attach to someone would probably deteriorate as the time progress and that people will move on one relationship to other without attach to an single individual. Females will most likely don't want to have kids since there is no safe and secure benefit as a family to support their child. This rule would help with the divorce rate, but i don't think it would benefit anything at all with feeling attach to someone permanently.

Obviously feelings would not disappear in this situation... or one would assume so. I would say things would be pretty similar to how they are now... but perhaps the idea of 'cheating' would not be as serious as it is. It could be more acceptable to be polygamous since there are no legal repercussions for extramarital affairs. People would still want the connection and companionship of a partner

Given that we humans after all, and naturally have feelings and emotions and physical needs, I would have to say that a society without the institution of marriage would still have romantic relationships. Personal choice add on mutual decisions between the two people or three or however many people are in on this unofficial relationship contract would determine whether or not they would like to act monogamously or polygamously. But this brings me to wonder about natural human emotions such as jealousy. If jealously is a natural feeling, perhaps monogamous relationships would be more dominant? The institution of marriage binds two people together and causes them to stay together even if they didn’t really want to anymore, say if they had a child together. But if the birth of new peoples is not up to the married couple to raise, then maybe they wouldn’t feel obligated to stay together. I do think people would naturally establish relationships with one another due to natural feelings.
This leads me to question feelings and emotions though and whether or not they are natural or nurtured. If a person was born into the world alone in a room and have never been exposed to anything outside of the box they were born, would they know what “missing” someone is like? Would they know what “feeling lonely” is like? I would have to say they wouldn’t know. But in a game that reflects something close to reality, where birth does not matter, I would have to say that people will be exposed to knowledge of what is to be human and that humans should have feelings. Therefore, I would have to say having feelings, although seems like something evolved from nurture, is in fact in my opinion the closest thing to nature and being a natural phenomenon. And if feelings are one of the closest things to be natural, then romance (intense feelings for one another) as would jealousy most likely occur leading to a relationship of some sort.

I believe that marriage shouldn't be important in a relationship as it seems that is only a paper that decrees that your are now bound together. What matters more is the fact that you care for each other and will be there no matter what. Marriage shouldn't be the definition of whether you are together or not. How we establish relationships is based on our feelings, but then some feelings come along such as jealousy that can either ruin a relationship or just make it more complicated for the other partner. I agree with BShu on the issue of jealousy that if it become too dominant on one of the partners then monogamous relationships would probably be the better answer. Overall, relationships in a game could be a game-changer depending on how the relationship is established. Since one of the decrees is that there is NO MARRIAGE, but instead should be established independently with the couples, I believe it would make any game be more interesting and enjoyable for some people, but not all.

I have to agree with Bshu in the sense that humans are naturally more inclined to monogamous relationships even without marriage. We tend to seek the assurance and comfort that comes from having a partner. The feeling of being alone is one that every human feels in they're lifetime and marriage is just a cultural step in relationships that we have established. Although humans crave attachment and closeness with others, we also have a hard time staying monogamous. However I think marriage has nothing to do with this and it is the person's actions and personality that affect being "faithful" or polygamous.

Human attraction is a natural part of life it seems. Our society essentially trains us to grow up and find a soulmate/someone to live the rest of your life with. Romantic attraction will always occur, whether or not regulations permit/allow it. I feel that we have changed to become monogamous, simply because the risk of being alone, as you put it simply is too much to risk having several partners. There are always exceptions, but i agree that we would tend to gravitate towards monogamy. Overall, I agree with what you said.