Democratic Dialogues

A post I’ve been thinking about for a while but never got around to writing. The benefits of being unemployed i guess and far more rested haha.

A while ago during our Couch PODtatoes episode about politics we got to talking a little about the differences in our countries practices when it comes to voting. Having just completed our own process for a state election in Australia I found it interesting how the others talked about their own process and about my own.

You see, here in Australia we have a compulsory system wherein everyone, or at least a close approximation of that votes. There is a registration period that needs to be done, some people fall through the cracks but by and large it is a country wherein most of the population has a say, however silly, or misguided they may be (i voted the pirate party for a senate position after all) in which parties get in charge.

Thinking about it, that is kind of the best way to do it otherwise you end up having a system completely controlled by the loudest and largest special interest groups. Now bear with me, cause here’s where I get to the mmo bit, but wouldn’t it be better if our mmo communities, talks and forums were more like this as well.

At the moment it seems much more like the American system. Certain groups have control. Certain voices and certain ideologies dominate and the rest either don’t bother to engage in the discussion or don’t have the impact they should. I think that is the main problem with most of these forums nowadays, it just becomes an echo chamber of the same ideas, ultimately I think that is rather damaging towards these games.

I’m not saying that developers should take into account every persons or groups ideas, that would be rather damaging but having a more diverse community wherein all ideas have a place to be discussed rather than shouted down would be a far better thing. Contains Moderate Peril had a post around then as well-looking at the issues with continuing a consensus and the pressures of conforming to that, and it really is an issue we should be aware of.

We do need a place where opinions can be freely shared but with the internet being the internet this is often and impossibility. The Main form of communication these days seems to be official forums and reddit, yet these are too often controlled by a bias party and single-minded focus. Twitch a little too but then that has just become a place for catcalling. How do we change this then to gain greater variety, the voice of the majority? I have no idea, it’s not something you can force, it’s only something you can entice but it is something that should be worked towards.



3 thoughts on “Democratic Dialogues

  1. I think Raph Koster, one of the original visionaries of the MMO genre, had something closer to what you describe in mind too. Blizzard’s philosophy still really dominates how MMOs shape their communities. Companies pretty much just do what they do. And I don’t know if you noticed …but the Blizzard forum community is probably what the Greeks had in mind when they described Hades.

    I think the next developer who can grasp the centrality of community will rule the upcoming VR empire (sadly, I think the next great MMO won’t be for another 10 good years and it’ll include good VR).

    • oo.. community orientated i think should be one of those foundations. You need mechanics and special interests that draw people together, that make them interact and discuss. things wherein people share common goals and work towards them together.

      and not really on the blizzard forum, found myself in r/kotakuinaction today.. thats my idea of hell

      also here’s hoping for an actual, sword art online/ log horizon esque experience when we do get proper vr

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