Friday, January 18, 2013

Online Gaming as a Laboratory for Politics and Economics

I just finished listening to the January 15th episode of the Peter Schiff Show. He was talking about the game Minecraft and its different modes, and suggested there should be a socialist and capitalist mode. This actually sounds like a great idea. Online gaming could have great potential in partial experimentation with different political philosophies.

I imagine the game should have several worlds to choose from, with each attempting to represent a relatively simple economy based on different rules. One world could be called “socialism”, another “democracy”, another “democratic republic”, and another “capitalism”, etc. In other words, the extremes of pure socialism and pure free markets along with some other major systems that falls between those ranges.

Players could get employment or run their own businesses, receive paychecks, purchase things, pay taxes, follow regulations, run for political office and be elected by their fellow players, etc. as would happen in the real world the game seeks to represent. Some or all of the actors in the game could be real people.

The possibilities are limitless. If the game was, professionally designed, made interesting for players of all ages, accessible from many platforms, and marketed correctly, I think it could be an effective experiment with many thousands of voluntary, dedicated players.

Obviously this sort of project would require quite a few resources to get off the ground. Probably, the game would need to be made available for free to attract the most players possible. I’m not sure who would take up this idea and fund it, but it’s interesting to think about.

In a fair battle between capitalism, socialism, and other systems that fall in between, I don’t think it would take long for players to overwhelmingly pick capitalism. And perhaps that choice would have helpful implications for us in the real world.

No comments:

Post a Comment