March 16, 2004

Utopian MPPW

by Nick Montfort · , 2:22 am

Jill mentioned agoraXchange, a project to create an explicitly utopian massively multiplayer persistent world “challenging the violence and inequality of our present political system.”

Will it be fun?

5 Responses to “Utopian MPPW”


  1. Factory Says:

    “Will it be fun?”

    For the griefers, yes, for everyone else, no. :)

  2. gregolas Says:

    If you’ll visit the website, you see that they have a manifesto setting out “four decrees” that “form the fundamental political tenets” of the game world.

    1. CITIZENSHIP BY CHOICE, not birth.

    2. NO INHERITANCE.

    3. NO MARRIAGE. “States cannot establish rules for kinship relations. Child-rearing and other long-term interpersonal relations may be established by individual contracts.”

    4. NO PRIVATE LANDRIGHTS.

    Fun? I’d venture a tenative no — tenative simply because I have no clue what they are doing and I think I must be missing something here.

  3. nick Says:

    Yes, I was thinking about the same thing about the tentative no (along with also not having a clue).

    Starting off with four universal laws, set down beforehand and not open to any negotiation, seems like a great way to bust out of patriarchy.

    Although honestly I don’t have any idea what these laws are supposed to mean – citizenship is by choice, not birth? Unlike in, um, all those other online environments?

  4. greglas Says:

    The oddest thing is that they are asking the world of Internet users, over the next two years, to participate in the design of this no state, no property, no inheritance, no marriage “game” — but only if they design it in accordance with the manifesto. Is that fun?

    We’ve had a couple posts about it over at TN, with mostly skeptical comments.

    http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2003/11/fascism_is_fun.html

    http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2004/02/politicking.html

    I do like Natalie Bookchin’s other work…

  5. Michael Says:

    I first looked at the AgoraX project when Scott blogged it here at GTxA. I was disappointed to see that the launch is really a meta-launch: the launch of a website that will be used to discuss the design of the project. I’m curious to experience their final design, but right now it all seems very preliminary… While their tenants are revolutionary in the physical world, they seem mundane in the context of virtual worlds. The first three are common in must online communities (unless I’m missing something) and 4, if I interpret it to mean “I don’t have exclusive control over the stuff I build in the world” has been done on some M*s (MUDs, MOOs, MUSHes, et. al.), where everyone can touch everyone else’s code. I vaguely remember one MOO in which even the kernel objects were writeable by everyone (some anarchy MOO or something) – the result was that it was rarely up for more than half an hour at a time.

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