Players will hold office based on:

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I voted for both elections based on platform and elections based on attributes because I entirely disagree on the idea of a lottery system. Why should a communist be put in charge of a capitalist consumer society? Why should a politically inept individual with no education have the same chance as a politically inclined individual with a graduate level education? I do not believe that the problem that some people might not want to be in office - I believe that the problem lies with underqualified individuals playing a large role in the game.

To put this in game terms:

Assume we have a guild of one hundred people. Jack has lead the guild to become the strongest guild in the entire game, but his term is about to be up. John wants to be the guild leader in order to get fame, to become widely recognized as the guy in charge of the organization. He makes no attempt to hide his intentions and tells everyone that he has no interest in being a good leader. In this situation, a voting system would allow Jack to come back into office with a far greater chance of victory than John. However, a lottery makes it so that John, the selfish player that has had more than his fair share of conflict with the rest of the guild members, now has an equal chance of leading as Jack, 1/100.

While the benefit is that everyone could get a chance to lead, political offices in games are reflective of our real life society - we vote to improve certain aspects of our society and a lottery system could very possibly put us in a worse situation.

I say that elections should be based on competing platforms and player attributes. High player attributes indicate dedication to the game and correct decision making which indicate a good leader. But since agoraxchange is a game, high player attributes could also just be from a player grinding them within the game. If someone wanted to be a leader in the game, they would have to go out and seek these choices to build up their attributes to run. This is fine normally, but if new player joined and wanted to run for office, they couldn't since they would not have the attributes required to run. So I think we should consider people's platforms and their attributes, like we do in the real world. This allows new players with interesting ideas to run, but also rewards players who work hard within the game.

I voted for both kinds of elections based on the attributes of the players (the avatars that possess the most of a selected attribute will be the rulers). These are the people that have contributed the most and are most aware of the issues present within the community. Although automatic promotion is not a good idea but an election among these people is the best solution because it presents the most qualified users and also weeds out who will do the best job.

I agree with you completely on the dual idea of allowing players to be elected on competing platforms, with the nominees being warranted by their attributes. But the attributes that warrant a player's nomination for elected positions need to be intensely speculated. For example, if the attributes were graded solely on the amount of wealth the player possesses, things might get really, really complicated. Unless one lives in a galaxy far, far away, they would probably know that politics can be easily corrupted by bureaucrats with the right amount of financial resources. Basically, wealthy nominees have the power to bribe politicians while on their way to the top of the political food chain. And, well, they don't have always have the best intentions either. So, whether it'd be good Samaritan points, or "moral" points that warrant their achievements, something of that nature has to be integrated into each player's avatarial capital/achievements/resume.

Eric Yoo
COCU177: Critical Computer Game Studies
WI12; Ayhan Aytes

I think that the players should hold office based on a lottery system where everyone playing has a fair shot in office. I feel this would be an interesting twist to the game and ensures everyone has a fair shot in the political system. A lottery system means that everyone is included. This could present a problem because it will include everyone, and not everyone would want to be in an office position. Maybe the lottery system could be formatted in a way that players who are genuinely interested in holding a political position are the only ones in the lottery pool.

I definitely agree that the lottery system has to include a volunteer system, to insure that those who want nothing to do with politics are allowed to stay out of it. There's no need to force people to take part in the system if they do not want to be. However, the issue I see with lottery (and thus randomizing who gets to "lead"), is how would you deal with those who want to be in power, but shouldn't be? That's the only issue I see to the lottery system. How would you keep those who shouldn't be in power away from it? In the modern world, for example, you don't want extremists in power because it wouldn't lead to anything good (when looked at globally). This gets bypassed by the majority vote system. In a lottery, this wouldn't exist, so people like extremists, and those who are watching out for their own good only, would be able to get in a position of power. How would the system insure that people like that are unable to damage the greater society?

Tatiana Chibisova
COCU177 - WI12; Ayhan Aytes

I agree with your sentiment that players should hold office based on a lottery system because I feel that the competing platforms and the attributes are just competitions among the players who have high cultural capitals. By having a lottery system, the game office will be fair and will not only grant the players with the highest cultural capital access to the office. It will also ensure that the players with low cultural capitals will be represented.

Based on the four decrees, it can be discerned that individual autonomy is a very high priority in this world in which nothing is inheritable. As such, this hyper- merit based society ought to maintain a consistency with this value by supporting the policy that individuals in office are those who are most qualified--election based on the attributes of the players. The alternative options adhere less closely with this merit-based society by leaving room for subjectivity and persuasion (within an election based on competing platforms) or complete randomization (within a lottery).

I wholly agree with you that the appointment of the game's running officials should be consistent with the overall merit-based societal climate: where those who are best qualified for the job should be recognized by the majority of the players. Those who are acknowledged by their peers as capable to accomplish whatever is asked of the official position will further the merit-based society, giving the game practicality of the best functional interactive network while not robbing each individual player of his or her freedom to pick who would best represent them at the governing official level.

I think it would be interesting if people were put into office based on a lottery. I only feel this way because i am curious to see what would happen. I have no deeper political motives or civil issues backing this decision i just think it would be interesting to see how this type of government would work out in a virtual world. This would obviously never work in the democratic society we live in today and based on this fact- my decision to support the lottery approach woulod alos mean that this virtual government would be far removed from the reality of today. I don't mind this though as i am really interested to see how a lottery system would work out.

I think putting players into office by lottery would definitely have interesting results. Although there would be concerns about qualifications, ability and motivation of the one put into office. It could also be interesting to see if someone who seems unqualified is able to rise to the occasion to fulfill post. And I definitely agree that this form of government would be far removed from the reality of today. But the good thing about virtual realities is that you can try out things that might not be completely possible in real life.

I also agree that a lottery system would be very interesting, but highly unproductive and counter-intuitive when compared to the four decrees that this world is based on. If inheritance, marriage, private land rights cease to exist, that would imply that these values must be earned or obtained through individual basis. That being said, this emphasis on the power of the individual ought to lead to a logic that would support delegating power to those individuals who take the initiative--not through random delegation.

I agree with you that it would be interesting to see how the lottery system worked out but I don't think it would work out. Like any other game there are going to be people who play more than others and so those who want to spend more time on the game should have the opportunity to hold office. If the lottery system was used it could pick someone who hardly ever logs on or someone who doesn’t want to hold office. I think it would be fair to put people in office based on their advancement in the game.

I agree completely, with many online games there are just someone people who do not play as much as others. If a broad lottery system was devised for elections then there would be a good chance that someone who just logged on for an hour to see what the game was like and then logged off and never came back would be elected. Now this does not mean a lottery system could not work. Why not make it so that after you have played a certain number of hours in game that you can enter yourself in the lottery? This would eliminate the chance that someone who does not actually play the game would be elected to office, but still have the random chance that is the spirit of a lottery. Personally, I wouldn't want a lottery at all, I think that elections should be based on the ability and platforms of the electorates, and should be voted in by the people.

players who log on frequently, participate in the activities, and try to succeed should be the ones to hold office. if the game was random and positions were selected at lottery, then it would not be realistic. from my point of view, the game is supposed to reflect today's system of government and lifestyle.

also, term should be limited, as they are usually in the country now. that way, players who do not have much experience in the game can gain the information they need to climb the ranks and win positions.

I agree with aimeel. I think that players who are active and participate in Agora Xchange should be the ones that hold office. Just like in our world, those who take interest in making it better by contributing ideas and taking action are leaders, I think the participants who show their leadership through participation will excel as officers. I think that a group of officers or party should be in charge instead of a sole leader. The idea of democracy and majority vote should be implemented to the group as well. I think this idea of working collectively to run the society will be more beneficial. It will bring people of different backgrounds, interests, and opinions into a common space. I also agree that the terms should be limited and people should be able to resign and re-elected.

This sounds like it would be a good strategy. Someone who plays the game frequently would have a much better understanding of how the game works than someone who logs on periodically. This would create a positive reflection of real world government. I agree that terms should be limited. Also, leaders should be able to resign. What about the idea of having multiple leaders? Like a cabinet instead of one executive ruler. That way players who are ruling can collaborate with one another to determine what would be best for their society. I think 4-6 rulers would be good. People who play the game often and are willing to assume a leadership position.

Selecting members to political office at random will have several benefits:

1) This will hold especially true if terms are limited and relatively short. Those who are selected to office will be compelled to pass legislation that benefits no specific portion of society at the disadvantage of another. With the imminent danger of someone else being selected at random, the legislators will be less likely to erect laws that serve to hurt a group in that society because it is just as likely that someone from the opposition will be selected to government and seek retaliation against them.

2) Many individuals who seek office are compelled to do so for specific rewards. By eliminating personal control over who can attain office, the selfish motives that propels people to office will be removed, and many of the corrupt policies that result from this type of motivation will be prevented.

3)There is often a specific route one must take in order to win office. Exact sets of skills, experiences, and career paths are often replicated over and over again by those who gain office (Basically A + B + C = Election to office). Because of this particular governments are extremely narrow. If members were selected at random, then the government actors would be far more diverse, each bringing a unique perspective and agenda, leading to policies that are better aimed at helping society as a whole rather than only serving the interest a specific and homogeneous group.

4) The sense of apathy felt towards politics will be greatly diminished. Often members of society are quick to abandon their participation in governance because they not only feel that they have no experience in the matter, but that those who are highly trained in the area will ensure that their own policies win out. If each citizen knows that they are just as likely to become part of the state as the next person, then they will be more motivated to be prepared, informed, and proactive about contemporary politics and issues, because they will have a very real chance to pursue their goals and ideologies.

Elections based on attributes is an interesting idea because users who want to one day be in political office can live their life for this purpose. I believe this may truly separate those who want a life as public servant and political leaders from those who are enamored with the glory of a political leader.

With everyone having so many differing opinions, we can bundle ideals into physical representations of a platform and person running under that. However, the platforms, if elected by the popular vote to be ineffective, should still have system in place that can address these discrepancies and have the platform evolve into what is most effective for the people.

It was good enough for the Greeks!