Should the game begin with states?

Login to vote in this poll.

No, I don't believe that the game should begin with states. First off, it would be very interesting to see what would happen without them, would a de facto version of a state be created that would therefore call for a de jure version? Secondly, simply the idea of a state will imply and impose an entire type of social structure of power. The idea of this game is to get away from this ideology and states would support it. If we are basing this game not on the idea of citizenship and birthright then how would the creation of states support this ideal? More than anything I think states will create a border and boundary which will further complicate the games goal of free movement and migration.

While starting the game without formal states would be interesting, I feel the more interesting thing is to see what happens with the current states and new rules. The project, without formal states, becomes something less than what it could be.

By starting with states, as they are today (at least broadly), players can see how thing might be different if the rules were to change. By experiencing, and being part of, this change, players may change their views on current social structures.

Without these formal states it becomes an anarchy emulator. Interesting, yes, but helpful to promoting social change, unlikely.

I agree, starting with states forces an implication on players to follow. I think it would be more interesting to see how players would gather together when thrown into a world without them.

I don't think that the game should begin with states, as it would lead to much more problems than it might solve.

One of the main issues with beginning with states would be how to divide up the worlds land and resources across the states. This will naturally lead to conflict as certain states might not want to participate in trading their resources with outside states, causing conflicts and possibly war.

If the game starts out with states already determined this will also mean that at the beginning some players will have to picked as leaders of each state. Now we don't know anything about these players, and we certainly wouldn't know how seriously they might take the game, and from a long background of MMOs I can say that sometimes all it takes is one jerk to ruin your entire experience. At any point along the games lifetime they could wage war for no reason other than the lulz. "Some men just want to watch the world burn." - Alfred.

Now an alternate to having randomly chosen leaders in the beginning would be to have specific people start as leaders. How these people would be chosen is unknown to me however this option would grossly sway the game in their favor, their characters effectively born into royalty with the entire state at their finger tips.

Even if groups of people are chosen to lead each state, the only difference would be that now instead of one person with an advantage its a larger group of people.

A much better (as well as interesting) solution, in my opinion, would be to let the game naturally progress as leaders step forward and gain a following. This would also lead to some interesting dynamics as certain groups of people meet due to some desired resource as they now have a choice to band together and share it, benefiting both parities, or to fight over it with one group gaining everything.

One could imagine the stories somebody might have if they played from the beginning where there was chaos. These players would see the world shape before them, as groups either band together, or fall apart to the larger groups. These groups would then go on to become full states. The entire world order arise as the players decide what they want, which will more likely result in an entirely different structure then what the real world is. As a larger point we would also see what people would inherently lean towards, as the case might be that war, famine, greed, vanity, as well as everything else mentioned in the manifesto are all too hard for people to go without.

First of all the issue of how to divide up the land and resources of the states is probably a topic that will be tackled by examing people's opinions. Secondly, the conflicts that would arise should happen because we are trying to mirror the real world as closely as possible. The only way to come up with solutions are if the situations that arise in the game are similar to real world problems. States allow for a basic organizational structure, if people want to change it then groups could be formed that could challenge the status quo.

--keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to.

Even though I already posted my view, I feel that this is another great approach to the question. Starting a world from ground zero and building their way up is the perfect way to make a strong state. Furthermore with "groups either band together, or fall apart to the larger groups," I believe it gives out a more realistic and also challenging aspect to the game. In addition, you leave the game up to players' choices such as if they want to go to war, protect their state, etc.

Great point.

States should exist from the beginning. If states do not exist (even in anarchy) I feel there will be users joining together in some form of organization (a guild system, or clan system) to take advantage of the solitary users. Roaming nomadic tribes, though weak in terms of organization, are strong than the leaderless masses. For order's sake, some form of organization should begin, with eventual removal as time progresses. Otherwise, you would begin in a state of chaos, with no bureaucracy able to mandate trading/bartering systems, political rights/wrongs, and other grievances users have with other users. If this happens, then you have a game in which everyone "fends for themselves", where little to no cooperation would be done because any other user can conceivably, be a threat.

I have the opposite view with regards to States. I think States should not exist from the beginning, but that the game should give the player's the ability to create States. You do raise some good points, in that I too would put my money on certain users joining together in some form of organization to take advantage of solitary issues. However, if that problem arises, it should be up to the player's to figure out how to deal with that issue. Furthermore, State or no State, what's to stop a State from going power hungry? I think it wouldn't matter if States exist from the beginning or not, because guilds or clan system's can still form from within the State.

I disagree with starting with States for another reason. Starting with States means that you have to resolve the issue of how to assign people to States. Are you going to randomly assign people to States, or are you going to leave that up to the player? In real life, States have to collaborate with each other. Some States do, some don't. And by States, and I'm specifically referring to Nation States. So in parallel to real life, I think we need to learn how to work with other States in the game. States that I feel should be entirely up to the player's discretion. I think the most important thing to do is focus on how we can do a better job in getting our States to collaborate and work with each other.

Lastly, if we really want to get at the issue, not adding States from the beginning would a great way for us to experience what goes into creating States. Most of us, if not all of us, have already been born in States. We've already been born into a set structure, a set ideology. AgoraXchange is about straying away from that precedence of being born into a Nation State. Remember we strive to create States without borders. Hell, here's a crazy idea. What if every person had the ability to run their own State? What if a State was more like a vacation spot, where player's had the ability to freely move from State to State without worrying about citizenship or being classed as the outsider.

I believe that the game should start wih states because it provide organization and structure for civilization.
What I mean is that in order for a civilization to even start and become strong civilization must exist. Wihtout states,
there will be no order and control and mankind are naturally greedy for power. States can help check people who want to obtain more power.
I understand that even though states are established revolutions still exist, but if the state is doing well and bringing prosperity to its citizens
then there wouldn't be any revolutions or uprising. Some requirements I believe that citizens should have that will make them belong to the state is
establishing some hours required for citizens to work to obtain the benefits from that state. Other requirements also exist too to help enhance the state.
Overall, I believe that starting with states will motivate itself to become stronger and also help keep in check of citizens.

I disagree with this comment in that I believe that the game should not begin with states. The whole premise of the game is to present a new type of structure different from our current world. Creating rules for the citizens of the states is too reminiscent of the laws that exist in today's society. I think that would make players of the game believe that they have to follow the rules that have been set up by the game. This opposes the very goal of the game.

I believe the game should begin without 'states' as they are known as of the moment. However, keeping in line with the other issues that are present in the non-reality of the game world, I think that the formal idea of a state can be established later through a series of personal contracts. I believe that this will give an inception condition that is as fair as possible in the context of the game's reality. Furthermore, the lack of starting states will allow much more adherence to the decrees that have been stated as one of the game's major goals. As far as actual play goes, I believe the lack of starting states will be crucial in determining the flow of the world since it will give the players time and incentive to create the rules and distinctions they will need to make the world itself successful and stable.

The game should start with the states of the world as they are. The stronger shall survive while the weaker will have to compete with the stronger, earning the citizneship and labor power of the people. Otherwise, the game is left with the arbitrary creation of states which would subject itself to manipulation around areas that are resource rich. Leaving the creation of states to the avatars in the game could lead to manipulation. The birthright is a status that is taken away by the revolution in this game. If people are able to conspire and form states, then they will do so and monopolize the resources of the environment.

I also feel that the game should begin with states and that is because our society will benefit from a new glory. What I mean here is that our incentive to CREATE will produce the belief that we can have strong motivations to--and for--a better civilization; one that is built on PROGRESS. Starting a state best describes this theory and our players can have citizenship, civil rights, and be afforded welfare benefits. Our MOTIVATION to BEGIN with states is essential; what good is it when we won't have anything to stat our civilization and people with? Where will immediate advantages go; - to who? So you can see that our state we start with will provide the bulwark of a potentially promising civilization.

I believe that the game should start with states, as each member of the world society for the past 4,000 years or so has been born into some form of a state. However, the players would not necessarily be bound to the state. They would originally be bound to their home state via citizenship, but after they accumulated "X" amount of wealth or influence, they could pursue citizenship in another state. The game would offer certain advantages and disadvantages for different states. Players then could pick and choose different states according to what benefits they found most advantageous and what disadvantages they found least harmful. I feel that this would make the "game" more fun, and would allow players who use better strategy to generate the most success.

I think that the game should start without states and see how that would turn out. Our world started out without states so it would be interesting to see if the virtual game would follow the same path that we did or if it would take a totally different path. States are established as an exclusion mechanism and it would be interesting to see what would happen if this source of exclusion was not put in place. I think eventually some types of groups would develope, however groups do not always mean states. Maybe in this virtual world states could be replaced by the ruling power of families or some other means of combining similar interests- I dunno- just a thought......

FOr this game, i think states should already be created because if it is not who will own what? In the decrees it said that there is no private landrights. If we create the game without states, then there may be a chance that someone becomes a leader and even though he/she may not DIRECTLY own the land some sort of system might erect and create a leadership where that person owns the "state". If the game is created with states already, it makes it fair for everyone to be able to go to the state that they fit it best and stick with that rather then having the users create a state where they like. I just think that it will create less of a fuss and less drama and also make the game a lot easier to play. Developing a whole world takes thousands of years to do and a lot of negotiating and talking. Also allowing the users to create such thing may also draw monetary issues such as states that have more beaches then others or states that are warmer then others might be more popular then states that are always cold.

The game would be much more interesting if it were to start in the "state of nature." It would be very interesting to observe the interactions among the players in the state of nature that would eventually lead to the establishment of a social order. States would be developed overtime as a result of social mobility. Players should be given various distinct abilities, such as strenght and speed at the beginning of the game. I feel that if the game is to resemble real life, then it must begin before modern civilization and technology. This would certainly put John Locke's theroies to the test!!! Will a commonwealth be established? Will communism revolutionize into socialism? Capitalism?

Here's the thing: if the game started without states, it would be very interesting to pretend like the game could be used as a tool to understand how the first states came to be. How and why do people organize themselves? --the problem is that as social beings we have been conditioned to be used to living in states and we have been taught that this is the only way to ensure safety and avoid the "chaos and power struggles." The validity of this argument will remain unmeasured by this game or any other. No matter what, a person will be unable to separate their lived experience as the citizen of a state from their ideas of what the world should look like. It is inevitable that a person playing the game will imagine it with states or force the creation of states because that is a major factor in how that individual has been taught to see the world. Essentially, it is not that it is difficult to imagine a world without states but that it is impossible. A person can not divorce their lived experience to prevent it from influencing their thinking in this game.
Furthermore, the game should be used as a tool to learn how to improve states and the understanding of government efficiency and policies so that the information gathered based on the game could potentially be used in the real world. How can we learn to improve on the current states if the game does not use a format similar to the real world.

I think everyone has already touch based on the notion that humanity did not begin with states rather like minded individuals evolved and eventually adopted principles and beliefs they found to be quintessential. However, I would argue that the game should begin with states or else we would surely end up with some chaos and power struggles for preferable areas of land or natural resources. Arguments (or wars) would ensue because let's face it there is only a certain amount of desirable areas of land and people seek belonging. Essentially, similar people will eventually band together and seek out preferable land. If this means taking land away from people that who are less organized or what not, then those people are put at a disadvantage. Thus I would suggest having "parameters" that would equally divide the land to ensure that the game doesn't begin with war. Unless of course we want war which would might be interesting to see play out...

How do you think our own world started? With states? There's no doubt that when the first people came on earth there was nothing like a state yet. And what do we have today? --> States! Probably organizing a world without states was impossible and therefore people decided to establish certain states. I do agree that states should open more their borders to products/services and people from other states (such as in the European Union), but we should not forget that states also provide us many useful services. I think the primary goal of the state should be not to keep you out of the rest of the world, but to protect you in times of crisis. whether this is against the rest of the world, or an issue in your own country. The world is too big to have just one state.

I agree with McLovin. The lack of state borders would facilitate the free movement of goods, services and individuals, and would assist in assuring that such borders remain open. It would also be interesting to see the direction cultural attributes take, and how they move across different masses of land in the absence of official geographical divisions.

It would be interesting to see how the game would play out if we break down the barriers of attributing state category membership. So often in our society state category membership has created a discourse inundated with turmoil and excessive labeling. Perhaps if the game begins without state category memberships, then maybe new categories of memberships arise. On this note, how race and gender would be constructed should be scrutinized as well.

I disagree with McLovin. People are always going to have the tendency to group themselves together. If not by birthright, then something else. So long as the borders to these states are open and not fluctuating, their impact will be seemingly miniscule. It definitely is interesting to think about the alternative ways to construct race and gender, but for the purpose of this game, I don't feel as though the current way would be harmful. Perhaps the reason is because I can't even think of how the gamemakers would do that.

I associate the idea of "states" in games as connections to the servers. Usually, people choose the server that is closest to them because the connection is more likely to be stable. However, this results in people in their respective countries only being able to play with other locals. If somehow the gamemakers are able to break down these borders, it would be really interesting to see how new relationships and dynamics result from new interactions. Wouldn't it be interesting to see states being formed by players of the game, and not the gamemakers themselves?