Should players be able to create game objects that assist them, such as houses, clothes, food?

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Absolutely there should be an incentive to work and build things that assist the individual. In the real world, people will not put forth much effort if there is no incentive to do so. Therefore there must be legitimate incentives to work. Also, there must be a way for that individual to protect what he has made; via patents or another method. Otherwise he won’t bother making it.

However, this does not agree with the manifesto, because it will naturally create social inequalities. Part 3 of the beliefs says that “materialist values should be changed not only for reasons of justice...” Paragraph 5 laments the inequalities of today’s society, such as “slave and owner, lord and serf, husband and wife, citizen and alien, heir or squatter…”

In order to build, a player must have resources. If he is born in an area that has no resources, according to Decree 1 he can move to an area or state that is rich in them (assuming he can obtain the resources needed for relocation). However, resources are limited, so when everyone comes to the “resource rich” state, it will quickly be depleted and the people who got their first will have accumulated wealth, built houses ect., and those arriving late will be disadvantaged, being forced to move to a “less resource rich” state. Thus, the world of inequalities has returned.

So the issue is: We must allow people to work and assist themselves through building game objects, but doing so inherently undermines the goal stated in the manifesto.

While I agree that human ingenuity should be encouraged within this game there should be very clear limits. The purpose of this game is to "recreate the state" and/or political communities, so it seems that there shouldn't be too much emphasis placed on individualistic items (such as a house). And while patents are a good idea there is the countering fact that in the global community which this game will presumably imitate has access to ideas and inventions from all over the world. In essence everyone has access to everything, and the only question is whether individual players/states can afford obtaining it.

I would have to say that the patent idea seems too complicated. I would predict that unless some very strict guidelines were put in place (or some sort of system where a player must earn/win patents) the first few players will patent everything. Or a player will attempt to patent a cure for cancer or super-gun in order to one-up the other players.

I agree with the ideas posed by math.jackson and skeadie that human creativity should not be prohibited. Not allowing users to make goods prohibits ingenuity and is counter to the manifesto of the game. The question of resources is a very pressing one but I beleive that the freedom to move between borders is a partial answer. If there is something that a user would like to produce he/she can move to an area that has the resources necessary. Also, there is no rule about wealth accumulation during one's lifetime and I believe that there should be differences between users in wealth because everyone in the game is given he same opportunity for success at "birth". This is especially true if the user gets to select where he/she is born. The problem of inter-generational inheritence is eliminated by the one of the four decrees of the game.

Of course allowing human ingenuity would be a wonderful contribution to the game!

It would be ideal if there was a system of patents that would allow for people to be recognized for their hard work, and at the same time allowed equal access to the creations (this is a game, so access to an internet general store would be only a few clicks away).

I completely agree with the patent idea. Not only will player-made creations expand agora's boundaries but they will also give players a sense of greater ownership of the game's world. Such ownership will make players take the game seriously and will perhaps offset the need for "points" or a concrete object of the game (issues that are being discussed in other vote forums right now) because through such direct participation, players will become invested in the game's outcome.

Nevertheless, I wonder, should everyone have the same available resources in order to create game objects? What if a player's country has more/less natural resources, or what if a player has less "wealth" (if it is decided that wealth will be assigned or earned) and cannot physically create objects that others can? Would this create the social and economic differences in our current society that agora wishes to challenge or are these stratifications unavoidable? Just some questions to consider...