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Reader Comments (30)

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:05AM Valdamar said

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An international politics MMO might work providing you had a military option... and especially nukes :D

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:54AM Matix said

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That's about the heart of the matter.

"Purely political" MMOs already exist--not with IRL political parties, but with people politicking in MMOs like FOM, and MUDS, chats, etc. Even games WITHOUT actual politics get politics infused in them as people try to pigeonhole game factions with their beloved IRL political faction.


I prefer a Massive Multiplayer Online GAME however, and for it to be purely IRL politics is a bunch of roleplaying... which would involve:

A) one side shouting facts and demands and 'don't tread on me'-esque slogans until no one could get a word in,

B) the other side concocting a psuedo-fantasy world where the other side is evil incarnate and they are humanity's last hope and thus don't have to justify their policies beyond identity politics,

C) a third side that doesn't really do or accomplish anything, but thinks itself superior pointing out the flaws of the first two groups when it has never had to bear the responsibility of power because most people realize their ideas are Utopian classroom drivel,

D) Over half the electorate not even bothering to vote, and finally

E) The half or so of the electorate that DOES VOTE always votes for the person who tells them:
1) that their national problems aren't the fault of the selfish, socially inactive electorate that only "cares" on election day, and
2) Finds a scape-goat, usually the other party but anyone so long as the electorate doesn't have to own up to their own political irresponsibility.


There's your MMO.


The only reason I don't think it'd work is that there's already such an MMO out. It has a single sever running 24/7 with no downtime, no maintenance, and everyone's already a subscriber.

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Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:13AM HackJack said

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Only and only if I can assassinate the corrupt ones.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:32AM (Unverified) said

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Oh so all of them... :P
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Posted: Jul 26th 2010 11:24AM Saker said

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I've often thought that's what we need in real life to make the "system" work, the ability to (and threat to) eliminate the worst ones. It might save alot of innocent lives in alot of the endless mad wars, pogroms, purges, etc to be able to just get rid of the mad-man at the top. Look around the world at some of the current crop of dictators.
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Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:13AM (Unverified) said

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It's the politics side that attracts me to Eve as I'm deeply political in real life however the other aspect of Eve push me away which is a shame. I would like to see another MMO incorporate heavy politics, I feel it'd be really fun.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:14AM misterorff said

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All I could think of while reading this "What if Vol'Jin asked to see Garrosh's birth certificate??? And can Lady Sylvanis survive as a third party leader?"

Seriously though, politics are a joke and a game already... I'd hate to see a political MMO, but I am sure a ton of people would play it if it were F2P and on Facebook. I know my grand parents would...

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:17AM nomoredroids said

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I've often thought a Feudal system would make for an excellent MMO. Medieval politics on several tiers: Peasants, Yeoman, Burghers, Lesser Nobles & Knights, followed by the Barons, Earls, Dukes, and then the Kings.

Each country's political system (I think 3 nations would be best, but who knows) should be dominated by a single PC who calls the Dukes into war. The Dukes, when they aren't fighting for the King, are building their armies and trying to rid themselves of the King so that they can take the Throne, which means fighting the other Duchies off and weakening them. The Earls are doing it for a position in the Duchies, the Barons are doing it for the Earldoms, and the Lesser Nobles are fighting for a Barony. Knights are mostly military figures, but they all have their own holdings, as well. The Burghers are stealing, backstabbing, and murdering in order to gain influence within their separate guilds, and the peasant-class is just trying to stay alive!

And there it is: the idea for a game that has murder, revenge, plotting, calls-to-arms, marches to war, player-run cities, player housing, built-in PVP, and a built-in level-less system of advancement: all built around the idea of Politics.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:24AM Dumac said

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Ages ago, i used to briefly play a browser 'game' called Nation States, where you have a state and you decide how it develops, i think it was along the lines of having several options on how to handle a particular situation, and you as a ruler would pick one and based on the choice something happens in the country.

I didn't find it had much depth or purpose, but the premise was interesting, and now that i think about it, a full fledged mmo based on something like this would be pretty awesome, if a "little" tough to do right. Something along the lines of Cities XL only with whole countries. Give every player a country, complete freedom on how to rule it, war for territories, economies, alliances, lots of micromanagement... I'd try that.

Posted: Jul 27th 2010 5:11AM (Unverified) said

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I was required to play that game for Model UN in high school! I adored it. Partially because I love politics, but mostly because it recognized the truly random nature of the political system.

I think the problem with many 'adaptations' of a political system in MMOs are that they either try to make a 'right' and 'wrong' path, which doesn't really work outside of a purely comic environment (I find that CoH walks that line particularly well) or they base all politics purely on popularity. In reality, politics revolve around a combination of both plus situational factors that end up making any voting system almost completely random.

I would adore to play a game that incorporated politics as the contemplated gamble that they are.
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Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:26AM Sleep Marshal said

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While I think politics would make a cool. Its important not to get to bogged down in the politics of anyone country. I would also its important to not to show either side as right or wrong. yes there should back stabbing, revenge, double deal, etc.. but you should what the noble ideas behind each moment. Should also be good to see the difference between the true believers in said moment, and those that are just members because they see it as vehicle for advancement.

Could be cool but it's a hard tight rope to walk.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 8:48AM Daverator said

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The problem is that Politics are interesting because of their ramifications.

Some bill or law will give power/resources to X and thereby deprive it from Y or make all others slightly less important by comparison.

While politics could be a huge factor in a game, I do not forsee it being able to sustain a game on its own. Because without a world to be influenced by the actions, the actions lose weight. Its not like a hack and slash game in which there is inherent mass appeal to pretending to be a knight saving the world one goblin at a time.

Basically Politics as I see it is an aspect of a game, like crafting for example. You can dedicate time and resources and make it a very alluring and interesting part that will drawn additional players. Or you can ignore it (basically or completely) and focus more on your main objective of your game. Each with pros and cons.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 9:08AM (Unverified) said

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There are some who would say that EVE is an entirely political game, its just that its not built overtly into the mechanics. The mechanics are provided for the means to reach political ends, but its all politics really. Who's shooting who, who's supplying who, who own's what space.

The recent Disbanding of Ushra'Khan was a political move, performed by a spy in their ranks. Same with the downfall of BoB. I don't think EVE would profit from cementing the political machiniations in any kind of game mechanics, human nature can't be codified.

Politics come from the latiin (or it might be greek) Polis, meaning city.
Same as polite (how to behave in a city) and Policeman (man of the city)
So a politician is someone who takes care of a city (or large number of people) or keeps it working. Much like a Mortician or Beutician takes care of the dead or beauty respectively.

Allowing a politician to act freely and as they see fit to serve their ends (within the rules of the game) is more important than codifiying and restricting what they can do with game mechanics. Real world politicians are not confined in such away, there are no insurmountable physical laws restricting their options merely moral and ethical guidelines.

Getting politics right in an MMO is also made difficult by the fact that you would have to accomodate the various political systems that are available. Politics does not simply mean democracy where everyone gets a vote, it can mean despotism, demagoguery, thoecracy, facism, communism and many many more isms. Democracy might not be the best system to get the job done, so all options should be available.

The best way to build an overtly political game, is to simply build a game which has a variety of ends/goals, and a variety of realms through which those goals can be achived (be they warfare, economics, subterfuge or diplomacy) and leave the politics to the players, if the game is engaging enough, politics will happen on their own.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 10:25AM Arkanaloth said

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it would certainly make for an interesting sandbox game to be sure. Also one of the few times perma-death just might work since there's no combat... just the risk of assassination should you politically ruffle the feathers of people with friends in low places.

a purely player driven political experience with all the risks that come with it including player vs player & environment assassinations... if it worked, it would be epic.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 10:27AM esarphie said

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I think Asheron's Call had the perfect political structure at launch with their fealty system. By forgoing the "guild" structure and making the social aspect of the game totally dependant on individual relations (you pledge fealty to an individual, and he gets an xp boost based on your activities, he could pledge to another who'd get the benefit of both bumps, and so on... which made earning and maintaining vassal's loyalties a major goal), they hit upon a purely political system that I'd love to see in other settings.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 10:36AM Booda V said

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As if there's not already enough sh!t talking in gaming already.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 10:42AM (Unverified) said

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Why is there a need for a politics MMO? One already exists its called real life politics. All the political simulator games I have played are skewed politically (to the left) and I think it would be hard for a game maker not to put their biases in the game. If there is biased one way or other it will ruin the game.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 10:51AM (Unverified) said

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People bring up the real world too much in MMO's already. It would be okay if everyone that likes to talk politics would take it out of the world I enter every day to get away from the seriousness of the real world. I just don't see that happening.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 11:08AM (Unverified) said

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I like the idea of a political system in a game where players can vote (via in-game mechanics) to grant special powers to individuals. Options to tax, attack, and overthrow legitimate leaders would be fascinating.

One factor is that real politics effect everyone, even if you don't want to be involved. In an MMO, players who don't want to be involved can simply unsubscribe and play something else. Unless the game is designed in a way that draws in players for something other than the politics, you'll probably wind up with a hypersensitive parody of real politics, which may or may not be appealing to those interested in such.

Creating a political MMO would otherwise not require a lot of work. Politics already permeates virtually everything in life, so the only difference here would be taking the extra step to legitimize it and control it - or possibly unleash it depending on perspective.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 11:12AM Nickelpat said

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Well, I love politics in a way. I don't know why, I just enjoy being active in the political system. So yes, I would definitely play an MMO that was JUST politics. I play EVE already, as it's pretty much the closest we've come.

Remember, politics does include assassinations (Remember how WWI started. How cool would it be if that happened in a game like EVE?) wars, and the like.

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