Why Agora should have a rule-changing sub-game

  1. The interesting thing about Agora is its rule-changing aspect.
  2. However, economic manipulation and competitive game-play don't sit very well in Agora at the moment. This is because:
  3. Because of (2), I think we are right to try and invent a resetting sub-game, where we can be devious and cunning and know that enmities, plots and conspiracies are relatively short-term. About the only thing we might want to preserve past resets would be sub-game rules.
  4. Because of (1), I think the sub-game should include a rule-changing aspect. (Without it, we might as well ignore Agora and go away to play the sub-game separately.)
  5. However, the rules changeable by players of the sub-game should not include all of Agora's rules. Otherwise, the sub-game isn't really a sub-game at all. In particular, sub-game physics (maps, topography, types of land, ways of developing land) should not be alterable by the sub-game rule-changing mechanism.
  6. Of course, the Players of the sub-game and the Players of Agora are probably the same sets. So, we should enact a high level rule that says that Agora-level changes to sub-game physics do not take effect until the next iteration of the sub-game. This should ensure that rule-making at the Agoran level doesn't get too partial.

Terminology

Gerontocracy Syndrome
The tendency of the game to feature entrenched, powerful Players, who are generally long established and experienced, and have used these advantages to put themselves into influential positions.
Sub-game
A game played within Agora. Agora has the Contest mechanism to provide this facility already.

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Michael Norrish <Michael.Norrish@cl.cam.ac.uk>
Last modified: Wednesday, 23 March 2005; 23:54 (UTC)