[ExI] World of Statecraft
avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 11:10:12 UTC 2010
I notice that a lot of debate on the list take the form of debates over sociopolitical idealogies and the relative merits of each utilizing a very limited pool of historical examples: capitalism versus socialism versus minarchism versus populism versus democracy versus fascism etc. These debates seem to become very acrimonious and people seem to invest a lot of emotion in their chosen ideology on what amounts to little more than faith in the status quo.
Admittedly I haven't put a lot of thought into it so it is still a very rough idea, but it occured to me that modified MMORPGs would make a great "laboratory" of sorts to empirically compare all the possible ideologies with one another in a risk-free controlled setting. One would simply need to eliminate computer generated "antagonists" and simply have the world populated by actual players with characteristics and abilities similar to any of the dozens of existing MMORPGs but more "down to earth". The players could form whatever types of "states" that they wanted and compete against each other for some predetermined periods time with the servers keeping track of metrics of success and failure of the various "states" resulting from the aggregate behavior of the individual players. One could simulate wars and markets and whatever else. This way dozens of civilizations could rise and fall within the space of a few years of real time and the
reasons for each could be analyzed by political scientists and economists and the lessons could be applied to the real world. Admittedly this might not be as fun as scorching hordes of computer generated orcs with magical fireballs, but it could be funded by grant money sufficient to pay the participants some small amount of cash for their participation as "research subjects".
"Science has not yet mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year and yet far too little for the next ten." - Neil Armstrong
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