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Fun is Dead, Long Live Fun!

Day 1,993, 00:17 Published in USA USA by Paul Proteus
This article is long, meandering and not a satire, dealwithit.jpg


As always, click for Mood Musik

tl;dr: Sup guys ^^

This was originally going to be a satire, but it came across as more of an essay. I was going to write jokes; call it "Fun Spreads, Thousands Dead", maybe make a pun on Fungi/Fun Guy, with fun being characterized as an airborne illness of sorts. Play with how loosely people use the word "fun". Instead this came out. But given how rusty my paper has been since I became Secretary of Media I'm going to publish anyway, I apologize to my five readers and hope you'll bear with me ^^


This image would probably have appeared somewhere

eRepublik is an odd and somewhat unique game, and to play it is to walk a tightrope between being serious and having fun. On one hand this is a strategy game, we simulate politics and foreign affairs on a daily basis, on the other it's a game and sometimes it does us good to remember that. Mazzy recently published an article on the subject, in fact she's doing much to further that as well. And she's right, we need to have fun in this game. The apathy that's been building in this country is a veritable disease. And one we desperately need to cure.

But what is "fun"? Along with "unity," they seem to be some of the more common buzzwords these days. How do we have fun? Is it through outreach programs, government or party run contests? Is it through, as many suggest, War? Here we come back to the tightrope analogy, with the threat of an actual World War looming (Self promotion for the win), is it worth it to incite a war for the purpose of fun even at the risk of the eUS, as experts put it, being gang-raped? Many clamor for war, but is it worth it if it compromises months of strategy? This is an actual question I'm asking, and if anything I'm less prepared to answer it than most of you.

This is where we reach the heart of the matter, what are we willing to risk to have fun? Do we blindly pursue what we consider fun with reckless abandon? Do we consider a long and arduous occupation a necessary evil? Again, these aren’t easy questions, but they still require an answer.

It isn't hard to see what I'm alluding to, or at least referencing. And if you haven't: go read DMV's article on the US-AIM, Association of Independent Militias. I have extremely complicated thoughts on this, and feel free to disagree with everything I say. None of my postulations have any more credence than yours, which is what the comment sections exists for.

On one hand, I see US-AIM as a tremendous opportunity, for those in the militia, and for the eUS as a whole. On the other hand, with the tremendous power it possesses (the fact that it out-hits USAF (or so I've been told) is evidence of its success) it also has (to use a cliche) certain responsibilities. In other words, the actions of a group like the US-AIM have clear and visible consequences, and overt effects on American foreign policy. Whether US-AIM plans to use this for leverage, or simply in pursuit of fun in a game, it’s important to remember that the actions of such a large portion of the American fighting force reflect upon the eUS in the eyes of our allies, CoT, and the world.


It is my personal belief that Spiderman can be applied to all aspects of life

Continuing with that sentiment, many of you may have noticed that the US-AIM has not exactly debuted to aplomb, but rather, controversy. There are groups who seem to want to treat them as a threat and destructive force. This is partially happening because US-AIM's first act, was to target Spain. They're TWO right? Should be great uncomplicated fun...well no, it ended up being quite complicated after all. To make a complicated diplomatic situation simple, Spain is the most conflicted member of TWO, and fighting against them (even if an unaffiliated militia) potentially undoes careful eUS foreign affairs by giving them another reason to wish bodily harm upon the eUS.

Personally, I think that was a mistake, but it doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is the aftermath, the fact that nobody sees this in terms of potential or solutions, what I see is fear and a heavy amount of defensiveness. I see "We have a right to fight against Spain, they're TWO and the enemy, we don't receive gov't funding". Every one of those points is true (except perhaps the previously touched on situation with Spain deserves more words than I'm willing to write today). However, caveats do exist; the right to fight where you want comes with the responsibility to concede when you mess up. I understand the sovereignty they are entitled to as a group of independent military units, but at the same time I don't see a reason why AIM and the US gov't can't coordinate or at least communicate to create a situation that is fun, or at least beneficial, for everyone. This can certainly be done in a way that gives their members the sense of individuality, efficacy and accomplishment that many of them are looking for, while remaining conducive to US foreign policy.

To be fair, what's happened doesn't completely surprise me. There are people who play this game in very different ways, and very frequently they fall into distinct groups, and the same recurring elitist debate never seems far away. The feelings between those vocally supporting and defending US-AIM, to me at least, reeks of unresolved tensions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense more going on here than meets the eye. This is likely, at least in part, because the US-AIM is made up of a diverse group of players. Many of whom want very different things. I've seen arguments for the US-AIM to become "the next JCS" (not my words), an attempt at a third branch of government made possible by the power game mechanics now allow to MUs and their leaders. I know that doesn't speak for the entire group but it seems to me like the possible beginning of a conflict that would threaten the potential I see in the effort.

Now, I'll admit I come into this completely lacking in perspective, I straight up play the military part of this game wrong. Well, not wrong, but not at all in the same way. I fight everyday where my MU tells me to and go through all the motions. Then again I'm in Shield, and before that the UM (both of which I recommend highly) only because of their relaxed and chill attitude towards members. To me the Country, and my party are the source of my fun in this game, and my MU more of an extension of the community I find in those. Still, I too play this game, and try the same balancing act of everyone else, and here I see a glimpse of what could be the rare opportunity which accommodates both. Unfortunately, this require both sides to ease on the hostility. Both sides need to reach out to the other, and foster this as a movement that not only invites fun to the players involved, but also is following the basic policy cues laid out by the eUS. Because not only is Country>All, but in the next few months the eUS is going to need all the help she can get.

This conflict, and my extremely stretched tightrope metaphor extend beyond war though, it's the same basic issue that we see when we come across the controversy of Unity elections. We see outrage against Unity elections every day, and it is especially potent following a month in which the winner seemed obvious to so many from the start.


Not entirely related, but this always makes me laugh

Now there's a lot of great literature on Unity (see FG's article from some time ago), and there's nothing new I really am going to say. Being said, it's an easy example of the point I'm trying to make. The common question seems to be ”When do we stop?”. When can we end Unity and return to what we had: a more exciting and game mech based system of democratic elections (even if they seemed to play out in a similar manner). Do we stop when the AFA is no longer a threat? Because that may not happen any time soon, taking numbers from a post from President Vanek on the Federalist forum:

"59.04%

That was my winning percentage last month. Divide that by 2, and its less then what Ajay got.

We can't do that."


We're not at a position in which a close election is safe. At the same time, many feel the Unity elections are undemocratic (although I personally think this point is overemphasized) and lacking in the excitement (say a Blank-Technician election brings) and if the last few cycles were any indication tamer campaigning before elections.. In other words, it's not fun, which as mentioned earlier, seems to be a buzzword as of late. So what do we do? Do we take an almost absurd risk in the name of fun? Do we allow ourselves to be wiped by inciting a war with TWO in the name of fun? Where do we draw a line, how well can we successfully balance fun and not fucking ourselves over.


I'm Godking of fun, just ask Sam Wystan

The simple answer is we can't. We can't let ourselves get PTOed, and we can't just destroy our carefully crafted foreign policy in the elusive pursuit of "fun". We cannot have “fun” while putting the nation at risk, there are bigger things to fear than ennui. Sure we talk about the patriotism inspired by war, but we rarely talk about any of the negative consequences of being wiped. Open elections would be fun, but as long as we risk even one day of RGR in the oval office, it’s a luxury we may not be able to afford.
What we can do is energize the nation. We can all work together to put together projects, create a narrative that excites and involves all of our citizens. I have high hopes for Artela, and I have high hopes that this month will only improve. I imagine next month the POTUS will be whomever is able to excite this country the most, whomever has, as Tenshibo calls it, swag ^_^.

What we need to do is work together, and find a solution. We can bitch about unity, and about the lack of wars, but in the end to me that's just a bigger drag. War may come whether we want it or not, and in this case we very well may find ourselves not wanting it after it comes. Solutions for "unity" are a bigger issue, and one I honestly don't have the answers for. We need to drop all pretenses, define our goals and what we want. And we need to be wary of allowing our search for fun to make us reckless. eRepublik is a balancing act, and in order to play we must keep these two elements in parity.

In the end, I'm far from an expert, and certainly know less on the subject than many of you ^^ I write for myself and if this sparks any discussion in the comments I'm thrilled. Also want to throw major thanks to Derphoof for editing this mess a bit <_< See you all around, but before you go:



Here's your moment of Zen:


Kind of in that mood today to be honest


Also question to the audience, who are your favorite eJournalists these days? Personally I'd list Fingerguns and NewAzazel as of late, feel free to chime in with your opinions ;)

Also I need to mention PiginZen somewhere in this article, because I'm pretty sure I'm contractually obligated to mention him at least every few articles in some contrived way. Sup PiZ~

Stay sexy eMurrica, I love all of you guys~

 

Comments

Derphoof
Derphoof Day 1,993, 00:26

Paul Proteus is my overlord. The words that flow with immense grace from his keyboard are more valuable than gold.

Captain Kushskiller2001
Captain Kushskiller2001 Day 1,993, 00:31

I don't know why I'm still awake

good read!

Kooguy
Kooguy Day 1,993, 00:38

The fact that the theme music was not long love rock disappointed me...
However, good article!

Rock is dead they say, long live rock!

Publius
Publius Day 1,993, 01:04

Should link the forum thread imo.

Paul Proteus
Paul Proteus Day 1,993, 08:56

Done

Bia Pandora
Bia Pandora Day 1,993, 01:25

I enjoy your writing, and Dogpyle. He is actually writing for pure joy and not just PR, as he found a love of writing through eRep and is exploring it.

I'd check out his paper: http://www.erepublik.com/en/newspaper/a-steaming-pyle-of--288812/1

My second thought is:

You state that the group of independent militias have a responsibility to consider how their actions will affect our foreign policy, and hence our governments work.

I say that the government, and hence or foreign policy has a responsibility to consider how its actions will affect our independent militias, or......our citizens.

I don't disagree with your thought. But one has to acknowledge that the past year or two of the gov bending the peasantry over the couch with no lube did not set the stage for "teamwork".

Bia Pandora
Bia Pandora Day 1,993, 01:27

Where no respect is given, we can't expect to receive any.

LordRahl2
LordRahl2 Day 1,993, 01:40

A decent point Bia, but the respect did not flow the other way either.

That leaves people who at least try to sit on the fence left out in the cold by everybody.

Why shouldn't AIM and the GOV just talk normally to each other, BOTH respecting each other??

It takes two to tango and all other applicable one liners.

Bia Pandora
Bia Pandora Day 1,993, 01:43

Good point. Sitting out in the cold really isn't that bad though. Then you can be friends with whoever the hell you want. *tosses Lord a beer*

Bia Pandora Day 1,993, 01:44

Comment deleted

LordRahl2
LordRahl2 Day 1,993, 01:47

Yeah, it probably will.

Bia Pandora
Bia Pandora Day 1,993, 01:49

LOL sorry was rewording my post.

I think that the people on both sides that have made it impossible to work together should step down and let some new ideas and minds in, because what they've done is not working.

Paul Proteus
Paul Proteus Day 1,993, 08:55

You know, when I was writing this I was hoping you'd comment, I enjoy your opinion especially since it's often very different from what I'm thinking (no less valid). And I've been subbed to Dogpyle since you shouted him a few weeks ago, I agree, promising

Azazel Romanov
Azazel Romanov Day 1,993, 02:02

This was an excellent article.

Neron Trocki
Neron Trocki Day 1,993, 02:30

do we, as MUs withing the eUS, not suffer from lower percentages on food/weps? do our communes not suffer if eUS falls or is being gang-raped ? chill people, let us Aim High !

we do not outhit USAF, but, some MUs, mine included, joined with AIM for the fun of deployments, coordination and so on-not to threaten the integrity of the eUS.
if our "missused" dmg is of such great concern, then, by all means, locate the OMS thread in the forum, and read how our leaders took a shit on small MUs, claiming their inability to deal "real" dmg.... also, I will quote something " what are they gonna do? hit us?"
- no, we will not hit you
-no we will ( well, I can only claim for my unit ) not destabilize any relationships with other countries

what we will do is, kick some ass and have fun
also, we will laugh at the "situation" that arises, cause it makes me so amused


why hit Spain? why the hell not? you say it affects eUS foreign policy? let it be so, we all know who runs the country in metagaming, Ill be damned if my whole eLife I serve under their foot. the guys in AIM did something, I admit, favouring Canada, but you also have to know AIM are 16 militias, 16 COs means 16 votes, so we are as democratic as can be. I admit, maybe the deployment was not such a bright idea, but hey, you all know of us now people are freaking out cause of the lack of coordination we had with the government. whos fault is that ? ours or the higher ups we were always ready and willing to talk ( again, C4 only, I cant claim anything for other MUs )

why not communicate with the gov't, in order to have fun? they suck all the fun out of this game, and I see no stoping that other than radical, drastical means, none of which are in effect, or, might ever come to be

all in all, my point of view is : if the government bitches about this move, let it scold itself for not doing ANYTHING to help any smaller MU, which, in fact, provides all the soldiers for the "bigger" MUs ( member poaching)

Paul Proteus
Paul Proteus Day 1,993, 08:52

Again, a lot of valid points

Beaverss Tribute to Raskol
Beaverss Tribute to Raskol Day 1,993, 04:21

v21

Phoenix Quinn
Phoenix Quinn Day 1,993, 05:05

YES. WE. CAN.

The Mike
The Mike Day 1,993, 06:36

You did grab me from the very beginning and made it possible for me to read the whole article. Thank you for that. The point you have made is very clear and needs clarification asap. I am also unhappy with the situation, however, the way the country has been lead lately made it not only possible, but also normal and expected such a group to gather and to start fighting independently ... people don't understand politics and diplomacy and very rarely are prepared to wait for the "common good" ... : |

Nice article once again. I'm still making my list of interesting authors, but let me assure you that you are already in (:

Mr. Jester
Mr. Jester Day 1,993, 09:14

Great article! I couldn't have said it better xD

In the good old days when someone wanted to change the course of the country militarily they ran in elections and took part in politics. Nowadays it seems every twoclicker just needs to join/create a MU and start mashing the fight button somewhere. And - ooooooooooh - fun....

Candor
Candor Day 1,993, 18:29

Almost all of the best things that happen to a nation (rl or in game) happen organically. And "Organic" should be added to that list of common buzzwords imo.

I don't know how AIM will settle out. But what organic movements effect is some kind of change. What this represents is coming change. And that hopeful. Because though I think there are at least two thoughts wrt AIM atm, I think the percentage of players who are happy with the current situation is very, very small Paul.

Some change must come. And I'm taking ALL areas of our team and function under that wide umbrella statement. The current chemistry is destructive, in the least corrosive.

So I'm excited to see change, however it settles out.

Strength and Honour

bigcdizzle
bigcdizzle Day 1,993, 19:54

I love your take on things Paul.

ligtreb
ligtreb Day 1,993, 19:54

Proteus is the best.

Nyx Lynx
Nyx Lynx Day 1,993, 20:46

lol this article has a philosophical quality to it. The generic comment that I would like to make is that when you have different groups with different labels attached to them like "the govt" or "AIM" etc, you run the risk of shooting down good policies or lobbying the bad ones just because it was put forward by the group you belong to and therefore when there is segregation, the people sitting on the wall have more responsibility to act as a bridge to fill in that gap and keep the communication flowing.

Also, I think fun and strategy are not mutually exclusive in this game and has a strong correlation. When fun goes down, there is stagnation or unrest which will have adverse effects on strategy and when fun goes up, it could affect diplomacy and other parameters. Sometimes the governments have a myopic tendency to forget the fun factor that you need to provide your citizens to keep them happy and be involved heavily in micromanaging the strategy and diplomacy aspect of the game. To strike the right balance I guess would be the optimal option. Also you can have fun with strategy and vice versa.

Mystela
Mystela Day 1,994, 11:04

Great article with many thoughts that can easily be applied to most of the large teams in this game & to the alliances in general.

I think that the various modules, which are seen initially as a selling point of the game, even in their gutted state, are also ironically, the downfall of the game in terms of fun. They naturally attract different sets of players with limited interactions between the sets, unless those interactions are actively encouraged & consistently renewed each & every month.

I think that the dedicated, coordinated effort required to do this successfully is nearly impossible in a persistent eWorld, especially so for a large team, with the result that the modules contribute to the division of the team, becoming a source of weakness instead of strength.

Add to this the various levels of individual player progression, the understanding of game mechanics, the range of personalities, many of whom are driven by rl animosities & the game becomes a source of frustration instead of fun. The fact that it's overseen by a dis-engaged Admin / developer doesn't help.

I still refer to the eCountries as “teams” but in reality, I think that there are very few actual teams left in the game, with most of those being small & content to fly under the radar, enjoying the game as best as they can.

Bring back that kind of team spirit & you'll bring back the fun for everyone!

 
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