After the news dropped that Harvard Law Professor and activist Prof. Lawrence Lessig is developing Seed's political framework, we’ve seen various conversations about what it is we are trying to achieve with the game. Whether you feel cynical or positive, we certainly welcome any form of discourse.
We’d like to say up front that Seed is not explicitly going to be a game based on politics. It is, however, a virtual reflection of the real-world, where politics is inevitably unavoidable.
Given that, we feel it's important to mention that, as reported via a fantastic article by Vice Media’s MOTHERBOARD, neither Prof. Lessig nor the Klang team are interested in pushing our personal views in Seed. His - and our - proposal is to create a platform where players can choose their own forms of governance, allowing us [the developers] to completely step back from all “string-pulling”.
We don't view politics in the project as a battle between particular structures (e.g. communism and monarchy), but rather an opportunity for players to make their own decisions, individually and collectively.
To quote Prof. Lessig, “the extent to which collective decision-making affects your day-to-day living inside of Seed depends fundamentally on what the political structure of your community is.”
For example, one colony may choose to have a monarch, with all decisions being governed by one ruler. Maybe the aforementioned leader is smart and makes popular decisions? Or maybe there's an uproar in the colony and the monarch is overturned? Players can make their own propaganda or plan their own revolution.
Another colony might be modelled after Athenian democracy, whilst a neighbour could be a representative democracy. Even though these are both democracies, the differing ways that citizens’ views are represented may well produce different outcomes and interactions.
Of course, the persistent game world of Seed will start as a blank slate, but it'll be extremely interesting to see how this framework will develop over time.
We’ll delve into this subject further down the line. But, until then, be sure to leave a comment or sign up to the Seed mailing for the latest development information.
The Klang Team