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Writing a Midterm about CN- docs needed/appreciated


AngolaThree
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Hey guys!

I'm in a Comparative Government class for community college, and the midterm paper coming up is about any topic in political theory relating to the class. Since this is a great way to talk about something interesting to me, I've decided to tackle the question:

[b]How and why do players in virtual games form different governments, and how does the structure of these affect their function?[/b]

Basically it'll be comparing some case study CN alliances, while also discussing things like treaties and blocs to help give depth to why people do what they do.

What I'm hoping is to get some help from the community. Here's what I need to make this a proper, academic paper:

1. If you think your alliance, or an alliance you have been in, is a good example of a government type (democracy, triumvirate, dictatorship), please tell me what it is and I'll look into it.
2. If you think your alliance, or an alliance you have been in, is a [b]bad[/b] example of a government type, and one that failed more because of a bad structure (too many chiefs, one head who went AWOL, too much democracy) than the people involved, tell me.

[b]Chat Logs[/b]

If you have any non-classified chat logs that relate to these topics:

*government formation
*conflict resolution and treaty negotiation
*interest articulation (figuring out what alliance members want)

I'd like to see them. Please send them to my forum account or link them to me ingame at Isis IV of Eonica.

[b]Announcements[/b]

If you think any AA postings would help this paper, please direct me to them. Good, quotable and succinct rhetoric is good.

[b]Visuals[/b]

I'll be using a CN Map of alliances probably, but if you have other visuals like good war propaganda, charts, or other cool stuff, I'd love to put it into my paper and cite you.

[b]Thanks in Advance[/b]

I can't write a good paper without some cooperation from the community. I hope with your help this could be one of the better entries into CN analysis.

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I can't give a whole lot of insight about alliances/blocs/negotiations I've been in, but you may want to consider the following:
-CN casualties not being real people, which makes many players considerably more war-hungry
-differing notions of why alliances should be treatied, e.g.: because there are no strategic landholdings, etc. in CN, treaties have more political and/or friendship bents than strategical and/or tactical ones
-the necessary amorality of a simulation in terms of government type, i.e. forming an autocracy in CN means one person doing a lot more of the work whereas in real life forming an autocracy has entirely different implications

Hopefully that's a decent start.

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Triumvirates almost always never work out. There is always one or two Triumvirs who call all the shots either because the remaining Triumvir(s) is incapable of debating with the other leaders or because they're too inactive to fulfill their role. And when you start consistently overruling the other Triumvirs you create internal strife which, when poorly handled, causes a lot more problems. That was my experience as a Triumvir in a nutshell, anyway.

Edit: If you want me to write something more detailed for you I can do that, just don't expect it within the next few days since I'm pretty busy.

Edited by Emperor Marx
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[quote name='Emperor Marx' timestamp='1303014735' post='2691813']
Triumvirates almost always never work out. There is always one or two Triumvirs who call all the shots either because the remaining Triumvir(s) is incapable of debating with the other leaders or because they're too inactive to fulfill their role. And when you start consistently overruling the other Triumvirs you create internal strife which, when poorly handled, causes a lot more problems. That was my experience as a Triumvir in a nutshell, anyway.

Edit: If you want me to write something more detailed for you I can do that, just don't expect it within the next few days since I'm pretty busy.
[/quote]

Detail would be nice, this isn't due for several weeks. I'm doing this early so people have time to gather their thoughts about the subject.

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I would check out NPO and GATO. NPO for its Francoism style government and GATO for being the oldest democratically ran alliance in CN. Other things to consider is the fact that nuclear weapons are not a deterrent style weapon as in RL. For blocs, consider WUT/1V/UjP, Q, GUARD, BLEU, AZTEC, and of course PB/DH. Other blocs to consider are TPF's protectorate blocs and Ragnabloc (Ragnarok's protectorate bloc).

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[quote name='Dochartaigh' timestamp='1303016332' post='2691819']
I would check out NPO and GATO. NPO for its Francoism style government and GATO for being the oldest democratically ran alliance in CN. Other things to consider is the fact that nuclear weapons are not a deterrent style weapon as in RL. For blocs, consider WUT/1V/UjP, Q, GUARD, BLEU, AZTEC, and of course PB/DH. Other blocs to consider are TPF's protectorate blocs and Ragnabloc (Ragnarok's protectorate bloc).
[/quote]

Will do. Blocs will largely be a contextual part of it, but I'll mention the balance between hegemony and opposition and what drives it and changes.

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You may also want to check out the [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page]CN wikia[/url] as it does provide some information about many alliances and their government structures.

Some alliances have a LOT of information about how they're organized contained in their wikia. For NPO, a decent number of articles written by [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Vladimir]Vladimir[/url] may be of interest to you, even if some of it is a bit dense and may take a few reads to fully understand it.

Note that you're covering a specific sub-set of virtual games, something like text based massive multi-player online games. "Government" in other virtual games may not necessarily be similar to that of CN or even exist as an entity.

Edited by Iceknave
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I'd like to help you out and I think I may have some relevant information and situations to give you but I'll have to check to see if it is okay with the higher ups. Nothing too big but you should be able to use it if I understand what you're asking for correctly. Shoot me a PM if I forget and don't get something to you in a day or so.

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CN governing dynamics are a lot different from real life for a couple of reasons:
- We are playing this as a game, and many people play the game differently and with far different motivations. People do things in real life for different motivations too, but self interest comes into play a lot more in real life and it is taken a lot more seriously.
- Intermittent inactivity at all levels tends to be a problem in CN governance. That doesn't tend to happen in real government as people take it more seriously and do it professionally.
- CN governments are a lot simpler than real life governments.

That being said, there are some interesting parallels, there are a couple of places I might look.
- http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/GPA_neutrality_dispute You'll have to investigate further to get evidence, but a lot of problems for GPA in this time came because of inactivity at key levels but more importantly an overly complicated and inflexible governing system and reliance on slow moving democratic processes that created perverse results. A good example of failure of democracy.
- I don't know if you can get direct sources for this, but NPO is well known for bureaucratic problems and elitism at the top, where new members find it hard to break into the elite click of IOs, and where IOs tend to fight each other. A good example of a badly functioning dictatorship.

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I think it would be nice to take a look at the exceptions, I can think of three:

1) I would really think about taking a look at the Libertarian Socialist Federation (LSF)... since they are truly the only "experimental" Alliance in CN and they have had debates about how to organize themselves and their ways of working have been changing with time.

2) The GPA... An Alliance that wants to stay away from war in a war game (???)... and with a government that has little interaction with the rest of the Alliances.

3) Vox Populi! Talk to old Vox Populi members... they were the most famous "guerrilla" or "terrorist group".

I think these three strange examples can be nice in a longer paper that analyzes the "usual" situations too.

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[quote name='Emperor Marx' timestamp='1303014735' post='2691813']
Triumvirates almost always never work out. There is always one or two Triumvirs who call all the shots either because the remaining Triumvir(s) is incapable of debating with the other leaders or because they're too inactive to fulfill their role. And when you start consistently overruling the other Triumvirs you create internal strife which, when poorly handled, causes a lot more problems. That was my experience as a Triumvir in a nutshell, anyway.

Edit: If you want me to write something more detailed for you I can do that, just don't expect it within the next few days since I'm pretty busy.
[/quote]
I've spent the past three years as a Triumvir with 6 other people filling the remaining slots over the course of that time. I can say that while the dynamics you've described can and do occur, there are other options depending on the chemistry and experience of the group.


At the OP, do you have a copy of the 3D Web? It gives a nice visual breakdown of political alignments and is especially good if you get a copy that has the full list of in-game alliances instead of just the top 80. I'm not sure that it would provide any usable information by itself, but it's certainly a good reference for contextualizing information.

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[quote name='Delta1212' timestamp='1303022311' post='2691851']
I've spent the past three years as a Triumvir with 6 other people filling the remaining slots over the course of that time. I can say that while the dynamics you've described can and do occur, there are other options depending on the chemistry and experience of the group.


At the OP, do you have a copy of the 3D Web? It gives a nice visual breakdown of political alignments and is especially good if you get a copy that has the full list of in-game alliances instead of just the top 80. I'm not sure that it would provide any usable information by itself, but it's certainly a good reference for contextualizing information.
[/quote]

I do not have the 3D Web. Sounds smexy.

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Of course, I'm mostly looking for charter debates and other information. Why did you chose the government you did, basically

EDIT:

Here are the alliances I'm thinking of choosing as case studies:

Case Study: New Pacific Order (Oligarchy)
Case Study: Global Protection Agency (Democracy)
Case Study: Multicolored Cross-X Alliance (Council)
Case Study: Libertarian Socialist Federation (Unorthodox)
Case Study: Vox Populi (Guerrilla Action/Propaganda Effort)

Edited by AngolaThree
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[quote name='AngolaThree' timestamp='1303035437' post='2691892']
Of course, I'm mostly looking for charter debates and other information. Why did you chose the government you did, basically

EDIT:

Here are the alliances I'm thinking of choosing as case studies:

Case Study: New Pacific Order (Oligarchy)
Case Study: Global Protection Agency (Democracy)
Case Study: Multicolored Cross-X Alliance (Council)
Case Study: Libertarian Socialist Federation (Unorthodox)
Case Study: Vox Populi (Guerrilla Action/Propaganda Effort)
[/quote]
Choosing GPA as your sole democratic case study is going to largely deprive you of the ability to explore how such systems impact an alliance's political maneuverings and handling of military conflict. They are something of a specific case even before you thrown in government variables. Fark might actually be a better option for you.

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[quote name='WarriorConcept' timestamp='1303062569' post='2692005']
I'd say interview FAN.
[/quote]

I agree with this. I don't know anyone in FAN personally but since they have fought through very tough times and remained in spite of lots of pressure, I'm sure you could gain a lot of insight from what they have to say.

One person (although the group he's most infamous for no longer exists) that I'd suggest talking to is Walford, in particular as a result of his position as the founder of NONE/LoFN (League of Free Nations). LoFN had a very unique way of organizing, which didn't fit well with what developed in the rest of CN.

Here is the wiki:
http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/LoFN

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Alright, a rough first draft is done. Here it is:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R3Ol9nC51hn6yRVwNxdoIsM5YBE0cEJwiVVg1vwDrXw/edit?hl=en

The interviews aren't complete yet, so some case studies are only introductions currently. Feel free to tee off on any of my cruddy research and otherwise terrible writing, but don't dump on me because I make your alliance look bad.

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[quote name='AngolaThree' timestamp='1303073805' post='2692065']
Alright, a rough first draft is done. Here it is:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R3Ol9nC51hn6yRVwNxdoIsM5YBE0cEJwiVVg1vwDrXw/edit?hl=en

The interviews aren't complete yet, so some case studies are only introductions currently. Feel free to tee off on any of my cruddy research and otherwise terrible writing, but don't dump on me because I make your alliance look bad.
[/quote]
Do you just want feedback on the content or will you accept help with cleaning up some of the writing?

Also, just so far in terms of what I've read, I'd challenge the common wisdom that democracies don't work in CN. That's a holdover from the WUT period where the vast majority of democratic alliances legitimately sucked and had little if any organization in comparison to the more autocratic alliances. These days, most successful alliances have some level of organizational bureaucracy regardless of government type, and even the middling alliances are far more effective than even many of the foremost alliances from the period where this idea was birthed.

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