Desertia RP: From the Political view.

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Desertia RP: From the Political view.

Post  DrakoWulf on Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:13 am

It is undeniable that most people involved in GMod Roleplay think of the various communities that surround Desertia and even our humble corner of RP to be nothing more than what they appear to be. A simple roleplaying game where fun is to be had, and friends are to be made. But take a step back to the real-world a moment and look at the widely stated words used in the United States: 'Freedom isn't free.' This goes the exact same for fun in a roleplay community. While GMod is still a game, it takes dedicated people to maintain it as a fun and stable environment and various methods exist to achieve this. Just as in the real-world, different individuals stand on opposite sides of the political spectrums with their own opinions and ideals, these differences often leading to conflicts and struggles that can bring a whole community to it's knees. Just as a nation a community can be brought down from economical failure, internal struggle within the government between ideals and interests, or rising revolution due to irresponsible management. In the highest sense, communities are almost identical to countries. As Desertia stands no different, it too has it's own guiding principals in how the Directorate oversees management and these are the key guidelines to our actions. So for a moment, let us analyze and break down some aspects.

Roleplay Economies: The economy of a nation is the circulation of currency that acts as the lifeblood of a country, keeping the wallets and purses of it's people heavy or light and granting them the ability to live and work. So when it is applied to GMod RP, how could that possibly make sense? Money is not the lifeblood of an RP community. To be more specific, the economy of an RP community is the value of roleplay itself; the manner of economy being what determines how it is preformed and maintained. As with real-world economies two dominant forms exist: Capitalism and Socialism. Capitalism practices a more free and open-minded management of roleplay with emphasis on the thinking of individuals, while Socialism evens out the values between the entire community and seeks to eliminate the negatives of Capitalism.

The Socialist system however is a concept that I believe is doomed to failure. A few variations of the Socialist method exist, but all of which will end in the same result. The complete cauterization of an individual members ability to achieve hard-earned success will only be met with overwhelmingly negative criticism from community membership, all of which automatically falling onto an immediate repulsed reaction to administrative figures interfering with their personal characters. In this sense Capitalism seems to be the only widely accepted form of management but it has three key variations that communities use: Free Capitalism, Moderated Capitalism, and Controlled Capitalism.

Free Capitalism is what I liked to call the 'Original DarkRP Method'. When anyone speaks to you about a roleplay of complete freedom without administrative oversight, this is the type they are most likely referring to. Free Capitalism stresses the individuals freedom to do what they desire, whenever they wish with almost nobody to tell them otherwise. If you want to play the President, you play the President. There is no rhyme or reason, only what Free Capitalists perceive to be pure and uninhibited fun. When people believe in anarchy in GMod RP, this is the end result. So why don't we see more Free Capitalist communities around? They've all died. With no management a community is doomed to collapse even with a good server and excellent script provided to them. With nothing to counter-act the rampant explosion of free creation, In-Character stability will collapse and become nothing more than a stereotypical DarkRP resulting in complete chaos and eventually emptying your server of anyone attempting to achieve genuine roleplay. Even those who caused the problem will get eventually bored playing with only themselves, and so will leave to find greener pastures. Even with an administration to handle such individuals, Free Capitalism will only result in In-Character collapse.

Moderated Capitalism is the most widely used form and what I call the 'SeriousRP Method'. This approach has been used since the first serious roleplay communities who attempted to still maintain a free and open outlook on the freedom of individual members and fun. But again, at what cost? Moderated Capitalism is in use by the vast majority of communities, theoretically 95% of serious roleplay communities on a basic estimation. It manages In-Character abilities and equipment not obtained in-server through application systems and supports a strongly liberal method of permitting players to make their own canon contributions freely and at their own discretion. While the method sounds like a utopia of perfection and fun, the reality is much darker.

Desertia itself at one time was a Moderated Capitalism, and look at the end result to those eras. Other communities that manage it often have to deal with the same distinct issues: Regularly spring-cleaning their canon section and dealing with conflicting contributions between different players. Very rarely is an administrator ever placed in charge of overseeing what is placed into the canon and this leads to inconsistencies with other works that only result in over-dramatic confrontations and issues for the administration to sort out. But this is to be expected, isn't it? I -did- say fun wasn't free, and this is true... but here's the fatal flaw of the Moderated Capitalist method. While some communities collapse due to their canon becoming an unrecognizable and jumbled mess of distortion and problem, a few actually manage to work out the problems and maintain a community. But you know all those days of fun and free thinking? The golden days? Those are long gone.

The only limitation brought on characters is the application system which merely delays players for one hour at most, assuming they advertise their application for a skill or item in the server or to their friends for approval. As time goes on a new class of member will gradually begin to rise up that marks the key factor in Capitalism and what Socialism always seeks to eliminate. The higher aristocratic class of members who become distinguished, renown, idolized, and envied by all those below them. Through their accomplishments In-Character, the aristocrat class will almost always follow a stereotype. They will usually be a frequent poster on the forums, assertive person in OOC discussions in-server, and almost always roleplaying their character out to be an overblown badass. That's not to say most people don't do this out of a sense of vanity, so where do the aristocrats go wrong from all the rest? It's all in their reasoning. Most aristocrats become so heavily involved in their community simply because it is there they become gods among normal members and this is where power comes in.

Power corrupts. Very few people who are thrust into power or are offered it are prepared for it's seductive hold and become entranced by it. In almost all cases the aristocrats are at first average members thrust into a level of prestige they are not acustom to, and become greedy for the feeling. Most will become narcissistic and self-serving with an overwhelming sense of both IC and OOC superiority, some of which most likely beginning to assert themselves to be of equal or higher importance than the admins. This is what can be viewed as the beginning of a Plutarchy, and a common cause of a communities downfall through 'revolution'. But in most cases, communities will then die of stagnation and slow asphyxiation as various values center to the aristocrat class. Aristocrats are likely to cluster together in elitist groups and factions, partaking in closed private-roleplay and immediately sapping focus to themselves if they see fit to grace the common members with their presence. With the primary focus of story arcs going to these individuals above the common man, stagnation will set in and the main population will die out. The aristocrats will remain but only because here they are unchallenged gods given respect they lack elsewhere. When a community finally shuts down this breed of aristocrats will continue to roam on to other communities, forcefully asserting themselves back into the positions they once held out of a longing for the feeling of power. Even if denied they will still continue to often delude themselves into believing they have succeeded and face ridicule. The Moderated Capitalism method is focused on enjoyment, but it is only temporary liberal freedom that will either end in a FUBAR canon, stagnation by an aristocrat class, or a plutocratic revolution. The aristocrat class has stagnated Desertia in the past, and the community needs to have learned from the mistake or the past will merely repeat itself. Enter our resolution.

Controlled Capitalism is a method very few RP communities utilize due to it bordering between Capitalism and Socialism, but the Directorate of Desertia has found it to be the ideal roleplay economic guideline for our state. While some may hate the idea of Socialism being even 50% involved in this, that's truly the beauty of the theory: Equilibrium. There is not as much stagnation as is in the Socialist methods, and there is no anarchy or aristocracy from the former capitalist methods. Controlled Capitalism shares concepts with Socialism by placing a good deal of control over the canon and various affairs under the administration, but maintains a capitalist approach by accepting tested and approved contributions to the IC world and accepting the advancement of characters. As previously stated, most communities dare not place an admin in charge of approving canon contributions because the liberals of GMod feel it to be an inhibition on their free thinking and making it any but free. But don't look at the admins as your oppressors, but as the ones making the steps necessary to assure that your fun is maintained. Off the wall canon contributions will be denied only in the interest of maintaining a stable universe, while still accepting fitting contributions brought to them by the membership. Likewise the admins will oversee the skills and other aspects of players knowing it is necessary to prevent another aristocratic class from rising.

But what about those people who still think having a single admin in charge of the canon is a bad thing leaning towards tyranny? The first thing to acknowledge in this way of thinking is everyone's immediate thought on the ideal of control. Most people in GMod come from either the United States or the United Kingdom, all of which having the same reaction to the idea of admins overseeing and moderating them: "OH MY GOD DICTATORSHIP, ADMINS HAVE TOO MUCH POWER! THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONTROL THEIR OWN CONTRIBUTIONS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL US OTHERWISE! START THE REVOLUTION! FREEDUM!" When someone hears dictator, they fall back onto the mindset of the average 'oppressed' citizen, unable to accept even the SLIGHTEST inhibition on their 'creativity'. Bear in mind that while creative individuals DO exist, the sad reality is that the vast majority on GMod RP are not. Most contributions from people are either something they've seen out of a movie and thought would be 'cool' for Desertia, or something they came up with while baked. These ideas are then put forward, but what happens to the canon when nobody is there to approve or deny off-hand contributions? The canon being reduced to FUBAR as is one of the Moderated Capitalist flaws.

"It is lamentable that in order to become a true patriot, one must become the enemy of the rest of humanity."
Director of IC Affairs

Posts : 105
Join date : 2010-07-06
Age : 25
Location : Belton, Missouri, U.S.A.

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