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Author Topic: Society: The Advising  (Read 2807 times)
B4GD
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« on: September 12, 2010, 10:31:03 AM »

Hello,
Thought I would throw this out there for the contest as I needed some different ways to think for a few days. For this contest, I chose:

• City - I took some liberties and am using the functions of the government within a city (the city itself is its own kingdom).
• Edge - The game sets itself on the edge of a new ruler and revolves around the state of the city before that ruler appears.
• Skin - This game will get under your skin in ways that only political debates can

I typed this up in about an hour so it will most definitely change in the next day or so. I will post newer versions up as I make them.

It happened in a flash of brilliant green light. You were there as the unexpected son of a woman your boss killed enacted revenge by bringing the gods down to judge her. The gods then turned to you and each of your co-workers.

“She was not worthy for this kingdom, her heart was shrouded in darkness, he will have to do until the hero of light appears. She or he will appear in a number of years. We cannot see  it. What we want you 5 to do is to advise this farmboy on the ways and means each of your responsibilities interacts.”

With that, they all disappeared. The advisors of Education, Economy, Government, Religion, and Family all stood staring at each other. How do we prepare the kingdom for its real and eventual ruler?

This is a 6-player game about political opinions and agenda setting given a set of ideological building blocks.

If you do not know, the basic definition of ideology is:
Quote
Ideas used to obscure the truth and to manipulate people through deception. These ideas are derived from some underlying issue: e.g. physiology, class, the struggle for power, and so on.

In this game, character creation involves writing down 20 keywords that define your ideological stance on a myriad of issues. To aid in your role, below you will find the basic definition and role of each of these aspects of the kingdom this farmboy just inherited.

Farmboy: you must write down your background in the following fashion:
  • Name:
    Family’s occupation: Chart of occupations
    Your Education level: 0-20
    Parents Education Level: 0-20
    Religiosity: See impact on income

RULES: Given the rules above, certain functions of each of these advisors will float past your head in a cloudy, what just happened kind of way. To resolve this function, roll against your education level. These rolls are determined by a majority vote by the other advisors.

For example: If the farmboy is educated to 8th grade and an advisor is trying to press as issue that education level influences the lower classes and creates the possibility of civic unrest and suggests that redistribution of wealth from rich schools to poor schools would impact the unskilled labor pool, the farmboy might be a little in over his head. After a brief meeting, the advisors agree that in order to understand this item fully he or she needs to roll above a 15. Education level determines how difficult to set the bar for the other advisors, not for the farmboy.

Each advisor represents a basic structure in any society. While social theory itself has changed over the past 200 years, these tenets are still useful to discuss in their interaction. What each one does, the others will change. Below are the basic functions of each advisor’s structure:

Quote
Government (The State): There is a great deal of agreement among social scientists as to how the state should be defined. A composite definition would include three elements. First, a state is a set of institutions; these are manned by the state's own personnel. The state's most important institution is that of the means of violence and COERCION. Second, these institutions are at the centre of a geographically bounded territory, usually referred to as a SOCIETY. Crucially, the state looks inward to its national society and outwards to larger societies in which it must make its way; its behaviour in one area can often only be explained by its activities in the other. Third, the state monopolizes rule-making within its territory. This tends towards the creation of a common political CULTURE shared by all citizens.

Quote
Education: If one takes SOCIALIZATION to refer to the sum of practices by which new individuals are made into members of existing societies, then ‘education’ is that subset of practices which have as their intended outcome particular kinds of more or less reflected-upon shaping. More narrowly still, ‘education’ is used as a synonym for schooling, specific institutional provision for the transmission of knowledge and skills, the development of competences and beliefs.

Quote
Economy: In its broadest sense Keynesian-ism is an approach to the political, social and economic affairs of advanced capitalism that validates the state taking a leading role in promoting material welfare and growth, and in regulating civil society. It also has a narrower meaning as a body of economic theory underlying macroeco-nomic policy. Both concepts of Keynesianism derive from the writings of the gods from which the policies they attempted to implement from within each kingdom as it was made. The fundamental idea of Keynesian thought is that capitalist economies systematically fail to generate stable growth or fully utilize human and physical resources; markets, which are civil society's main economic mechanisms of self-regulation and adjustment, cannot eliminate economic crises, unemployment, or, in later versions, inflation. However, the meaning of Keynesianism, in either its broad or narrow sense, is open to interpretation and is the subject of continuing controversy, as is its validity.

Quote
Religion: The term ‘religion’ refers to institutionalized dispositions and actions relative to the sacred – a dimension of life that is felt to be incommensur-ably more profound, powerful and significant than the everyday or mundane. Religion expresses concern with matters of ultimate significance such as the meaning of life, suffering, evil or death and the sense of hope for a better future including salvation, peace, life after death or rebirth. There is wide variation in the social forms through which religion articulates ideas about the sacred, and the sedimentation of these ideas in cultural, experiential and social forms over long periods of time has helped to establish religion as a powerful and enduring institution in virtually all known societies. The distinctive characteristics of each of the world's major religions represent particular ways of symbolizing the mutual relations between human beings and the sacred.

Quote
Family: For many years, people have believed that a universal definition of family was “a ‘social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.” Numerous scholars have argued that the defining characteristic of the ‘modern’ family (with its roots in the privileged classes of the nineteenth century) are altogether different: at least in ideology, this family is formed on the basis of affection and love; it operates on the behalf of the personality to provide psychic security; and its spouses are companions and its parents (or at least mothers) are emotional and nurturing to their innocent children. Moreover, whereas the agrarian family was all but indistinguishable from the community, some scholars suggest that relations within the contemporary family have become more greedy and valued; both as consequence and cause, relations outside of it have become more remote, specialized, rational and tenuous. The gods have written: ‘Indeed, it has become increasingly clear that “family” and related “domestic” concepts as we know them are relatively recent developments. Many of the distinguishing features of contemporary family discourse – in particular the notions of privacy and sentiment – were either absent from or unimportant to the discourse of primary social relations prior to the last few centuries. Scholars argue that as late as the end of the Middle Ages the German language had no word for the private groups of parents and children that many currently call family. Some well-respected scholars even suggest that it is only from around the fifteenth century that Europe sees the rise of a new concept: ‘The concept of the family’. The arrangement was present, Aries contended in his groundbreaking work, but ‘the family existed in silence; it did not awaken feelings strong enough to inspire poet or artist. We must recognize the importance of this silence: not much value was placed on the family’.

When an item is passed, the other advisors, plus the farmboy set a number between 0-20. These items are then rolled by each advisor and the farmboy to ascertain how well that policy has been implemented and how well that policy is understood by the advisors presenting it.

  • If the item presented is of a highr education level than that of the farmboy and needed a roll to see if a deliberation would occur, -5 to the roll.
    If the item presented is of a lower education level than that of the farmboy, +2 to the roll.
    Each tenet begins at random from 2-100. The closer to 100, the more likely it is that this society is functioning as normal.
    Under 20, that structure has implications for other structures. How these are impacted are seen below:

TO DO:
  • Rework definitions to easily understood ones
    Finish up Farmboy design
    Work up tables of influence
    Endgame conditions
    Time limit of game: 2 hours
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B4GD
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Posts: 12

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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 04:41:35 PM »

I suppose in the end this is more a pedagogical tool than your standard pen and paper game but it is fun to make nonetheless:

Quote
It happened in a flash of brilliant green light. You were there as the unexpected son of a woman your boss killed enacted revenge by bringing the gods down to judge her. The gods then turned to you and each of your co-workers.

“She was not worthy for this kingdom, her heart was shrouded in darkness, he will have to do until the hero of light appears. She or he will appear in a number of years. We cannot see  it. What we want you 5 to do is to advise this farmboy on the ways and means each of your responsibilities interacts.”

With that, they all disappeared. The advisors of Education, Economy, Government, Religion, and Family all stood staring at each other. How do we prepare the kingdom for its real and eventual ruler?

Welcome to Society: The Advising.

This is a 6-player game about political opinions and agenda setting given a set of ideological building blocks.

There are two introductions to this game. So, the first thing to do is to separate into two groups, 1 group of 5 (advisors) and a single player (the farmboy).

The solo player is called THE FARMBOY

The group of 5 are the Advisers:

  • Advisor of Government
  • Advisor of Family
  • Advisor of Education
  • Advisor of Economy
  • Advisor of Religion

For Advisors:
The first thing advisors do is write their name down on a piece of paper and their position and hand it to the farmboy. Next, each of you need to either make a copy of the table on the last page of this file or memorize it.

If you do not know, the basic definition of ideology is:
Quote
Ideas used to obscure the truth and to manipulate people through deception. These ideas are derived from some underlying issue: e.g. physiology, class, the struggle for power, and so on.

  • Advisor Name
  • Advisor Title
  • Years of Service

Past this information, character creation involves writing down 20 keywords that define your ideological stance on a myriad of issues. Once you have written these 20 items down, hand them to the advisor to your right, the advisor closest to the farmboy hands it across the table. Those advisers then strike 5 keywords from that list and hand them to the player on their right where the process is repeated. These keywords then represent the ideological stance through which you can act. Any disagreements agreed upon by the majority result in a negative number applied to the implementation of your legislature (henceforth referred to as items)To aid in your role, below you will find the basic definition and role of each of these aspects of the kingdom this farmboy just inherited.

For the Farmboy:

You must write down your background in the following fashion:

  • Name:
  • Family’s occupation: Chart of occupations
  • Your Education level: 0-20
  • Parents Education Level: 0-20
  • Religiosity: See impact on income

Education Level: Given the rules above, certain legislative items your advisers suggest will float past your head in a cloudy, what just happened kind of way. There is a need for a mechanic to guide this process. To resolve this function, roll against your education level. These rolls are determined by a majority vote by the other advisers.

For example: If the farmboy is educated to 8th grade and an advisor is trying to press as issue that education level influences the lower classes and creates the possibility of civic unrest and suggests that redistribution of wealth from rich schools to poor schools would impact the unskilled labor pool, the farmboy might be a little in over his head. After a brief meeting, the advisers agree that in order to understand this item fully he or she needs to roll above a 15. Education level determines how difficult to set the bar for the other advisers, not for the farmboy.

Background for your situation: Each advisor represents a basic structure in any society. While social theory itself has changed over the past 200 years, these tenets are still useful to discuss in their interaction. What each one does, the others will change. Below are the basic functions of each adviser's structure:

Quote
Government (The State): There is a great deal of agreement among social scientists as to how the state should be defined. A composite definition would include three elements. First, a state is a set of institutions; these are manned by the state's own personnel. The state's most important institution is that of the means of violence and Coercion. Second, these institutions are at the centre of a geographically bounded territory, usually referred to as a Society. Crucially, the state looks inward to its national society and outwards to larger societies in which it must make its way; its behaviour in one area can often only be explained by its activities in the other. Third, the state monopolizes rule-making within its territory. This tends towards the creation of a common political Culture shared by all citizens.

Quote
Education: If one takes Socialization to refer to the sum of practices by which new individuals are made into members of existing societies, then ‘education’ is that subset of practices which have as their intended outcome particular kinds of more or less reflected-upon shaping. More narrowly still, ‘education’ is used as a synonym for schooling, specific institutional provision for the transmission of knowledge and skills, the development of competences and beliefs.

Quote
Economy: In its broadest sense Keynesian-ism is an approach to the political, social and economic affairs of advanced capitalism that validates the state taking a leading role in promoting material welfare and growth, and in regulating civil society. It also has a narrower meaning as a body of economic theory underlying macroeco-nomic policy. Both concepts of Keynesianism derive from the writings of the gods from which the policies they attempted to implement from within each kingdom as it was made. The fundamental idea of Keynesian thought is that capitalist economies systematically fail to generate stable growth or fully utilize human and physical resources; markets, which are civil society's main economic mechanisms of self-regulation and adjustment, cannot eliminate economic crises, unemployment, or, in later versions, inflation. However, the meaning of Keynesianism, in either its broad or narrow sense, is open to interpretation and is the subject of continuing controversy, as is its validity.

Quote
Religion: The term ‘religion’ refers to institutionalized dispositions and actions relative to the sacred – a dimension of life that is felt to be incommensur-ably more profound, powerful and significant than the everyday or mundane. Religion expresses concern with matters of ultimate significance such as the meaning of life, suffering, evil or death and the sense of hope for a better future including salvation, peace, life after death or rebirth. There is wide variation in the social forms through which religion articulates ideas about the sacred, and the sedimentation of these ideas in cultural, experiential and social forms over long periods of time has helped to establish religion as a powerful and enduring institution in virtually all known societies. The distinctive characteristics of each of the world's major religions represent particular ways of symbolizing the mutual relations between human beings and the sacred.

Quote
Family: For many years, people have believed that a universal definition of family was “a ‘social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.” Numerous scholars have argued that the defining characteristic of the ‘modern’ family (with its roots in the privileged classes of the nineteenth century) are altogether different: at least in ideology, this family is formed on the basis of affection and love; it operates on the behalf of the personality to provide psychic security; and its spouses are companions and its parents (or at least mothers) are emotional and nurturing to their innocent children. Moreover, whereas the agrarian family was all but indistinguishable from the community, some scholars suggest that relations within the contemporary family have become more greedy and valued; both as consequence and cause, relations outside of it have become more remote, specialized, rational and tenuous. The gods have written: ‘Indeed, it has become increasingly clear that “family” and related “domestic” concepts as we know them are relatively recent developments. Many of the distinguishing features of contemporary family discourse – in particular the notions of privacy and sentiment – were either absent from or unimportant to the discourse of primary social relations prior to the last few centuries.’ Mittrauer and Sieder (1982) argue that as late as the end of the Middle Ages the German language had no word for the private groups of parents and children that many currently call family. Some well-respected scholars even suggest that it is only from around the fifteenth century that Europe sees the rise of a new concept: ‘The concept of the family’. The arrangement was present, Aries contended in his groundbreaking work, but ‘the family existed in silence; it did not awaken feelings strong enough to inspire poet or artist. We must recognize the importance of this silence: not much value was placed on the family’ (Aries, 1962, p. 364).

Mechinics
Setting up:

Table should be set up with the farmboy at the head and each advisor on the sides.

Each advisor needs to give their name and position to the farmboy as well as make a nametag for their place at the table.

The farmboy needs to write down each of the advisers names and positions. It is up to the farmboy who goes next though on every turn after the first, that adviser who just submitted an item may advise who is next. Each advisor must present twice. Two will present 3 times.

The Basics
Each item introduced by the advisers constitutes a month of real life time (lobbying, deliberation, signing). The chosen one will inherit the kingdom in 12 months. So, there are twelve months through which each advisor may introduce an item. Each advisor may go twice, two advisers go 3 times. The Farmboy may veto one item and that month will be lost. The goal of the game is to get the society the chosen one will inherit a stable society, or an unstable one.

When an item is passed, the other advisers, plus the farmboy set a number between 0-100. Majority Rules, the Farmboy is a tie breaker or stalemate swinger. These items are then rolled by each advisor and the farmboy to ascertain how well that policy has been implemented and how well that policy is understood by the advisers presenting it.

How an Item Works
Each round, the Farmboy chooses an advisor to present their case. The adviser then needs to describe their legislation (item) to the farmboy in a way he or she understands. Once the advisor is finished with their case, the farmboy describes that item as they understand it and will add how it will interact with society. Once the farmboy is finished, each advisor offers up a number between 1-20. The average of these 5 numbers is the target number for the farmboy to understand.

If the item presented is of a higher education level than that of the farmboy and needed a roll to see if a deliberation would occur, -5 to the roll.

How Each System Influences the Whole
If the item presented is of a lower education level than that of the farmboy, +2 to the roll.

Each tenet begins at random from 1-20. The closer to 20, the more likely it is that this society is functioning as normal. Each item added to that tenet is averaged out.

Under 12, that structure has implications for other structures. How these are impacted are seen below: (MAKE THIS CHART)

The Game Ends When
The game ends after 12 rounds.
There are 120 total points, 10 points each for 12 total items. 0-80 points is an unstable society that will no doubt fail (finger pointing can then begin), 81+ is stable, 110+ is a society on the verge of a golden age. The chosen one then appears.

To do:
Influences
Lists
one sheet quickreference
More simplistic ins and outs of each advisor's subject matter
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B4GD
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Posts: 12

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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 04:46:46 AM »

With a busy day at work, I didn't have time to upload my edits. I will change this later tonight.
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B4GD
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 07:37:21 PM »

This week is super busy! Well, I made some basic changes and have the game mostly set up. I need to add a quick-reference sheet. My goal is to make the game 1 page, reference material about 3 or 4.

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1cW5nkCYahiPmIJfrIL4_MoZQj3GGzSC-MUn3Ct9tkpA
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David Berg
Member

Posts: 997


« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 08:06:10 PM »

I love the concept here.  However, I'm fuzzy on what player skills are rewarded, and what role the mechanics play.  My first thought is:
a) the better the players are at convincingly presenting their proposals, the better odds of success the group will reward them upon passge (which happens 11 of 12 times, right?).  The d100 die roll then randomly resolves those odds into an actuality.
b) the better the players are at simply presenting their proposals, the better odds of success the group will reward them of "being understood by the farmboy".  The d20 roll then randomly resolves those odds into an actuality.

If the farmboy does not understand something, then I guess there's a small chance he'll want to use his one veto on it.  But if he doesn't veto, then his understanding is irrelevant.

Or is thee some rule for how many points each issue adds to the tenet, deriving from those 1-100 and 1-20 ratings?  I didn't find that in the text.
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
B4GD
Member

Posts: 12

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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 09:36:20 AM »

I love the concept here.  However, I'm fuzzy on what player skills are rewarded, and what role the mechanics play.  My first thought is:
a) the better the players are at convincingly presenting their proposals, the better odds of success the group will reward them upon passge (which happens 11 of 12 times, right?).  The d100 die roll then randomly resolves those odds into an actuality.
b) the better the players are at simply presenting their proposals, the better odds of success the group will reward them of "being understood by the farmboy".  The d20 roll then randomly resolves those odds into an actuality.

If the farmboy does not understand something, then I guess there's a small chance he'll want to use his one veto on it.  But if he doesn't veto, then his understanding is irrelevant.

Or is thee some rule for how many points each issue adds to the tenet, deriving from those 1-100 and 1-20 ratings?  I didn't find that in the text.
Hi thanks!

I should note that the basis for this game is straight exposition given a subject (Adventures of Baron Munchausen is the most direct influence) I tried to base this game on the structure of an intro to sociology course. Because of that, there are several things I wanted to illustrate.

I had initially started with a d100 roll but felt that it made it too easy for chance to be negated or absorbed. Smaller numbers would allow for modular groups: larger groups to play as 5 cabinets rather than 5 people. If I went with d100 instead of 5d20 averaged, I also felt like I was missing out on a point to make: understanding is based on those around us, not so much 1v1 when there are more than 2 people involved in a conversation. It was a pedagogical choice that guided that shift.

So, I wanted the physical range of statistical probability to be far smaller than normal yet beefy enough to seem believable. I felt that this reflected the shakiness of public favor by combining public reaction, public ideological shifts, and religious fervor in a demonstrative way. I needed something to mirror this in a way that was unpredictable but easily understood for beginners in-game. I also wanted to make sure to somehow make this competitive enough that people will try harder than they would during the normal exposition in a game and to reward points in class.

I need to work tonight on making it more easily understood. I am still throwing ideas down on paper and the language is that of my head, not for folks to easily read!
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David Berg
Member

Posts: 997


« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 10:13:18 AM »

the shakiness of public favor by combining public reaction, public ideological shifts, and religious fervor in a demonstrative way. I needed something to mirror this in a way that was unpredictable but easily understood
This sounds like a very cool goal to me.

One idea:

Narrate through the tenets influencing each other as per your table.  Don't just say, "Okay, Govt's under 15, Econ and Edu lose 2 points.  Next month, next proposal."  Instead, one or all players should talk a lot about how the weak government allows a boom of unregulated economic growth followed by a sudden bust as trust systems follow apart and debts/credits/currency are devalued.  Then talk about how lack of funding leaves the public schools with such a bad rap that everyone who can afford to sends their kids to private schools, thus creating a downward spiral in the public schools.  Or, y'know, whatever interpretation makes sense to the narrators -- perhaps you could have some guidelines for this, laying out some basic historical trends connecting each tenet to each other tenet.
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here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
B4GD
Member

Posts: 12

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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 10:42:49 AM »

I definitely agree with this. I just hadn't done it yet. My endgoal for this game is 1 page of rules, 3 pages of reference materials on fine points in games and about how things work together. It's so easy to take this overboard and get past incoming freshmen level. I will work on this tonight!
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B4GD
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Posts: 12

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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2010, 10:55:28 AM »

Started throwing it together into a larger document. It can be found:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0ByPlLBKu6Jp8ZDQ2NWU0MjMtNzQwYi00YmYxLTgzOTAtYTMxNDRmZjE4Nzk4&hl=en

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