Blue And Evil
One topic of conversation amongst congress members this term - arguably, the biggest topic - is what is the best method for communication en masse within parliament.
That’s right, we’re debating about debating. What a world.
The current MoLA, Sage Goku, has been focusing exclusively on setting up debates for parliament via in-game mass messages. This is something I tried to organise myself two months ago when I was in his shoes as MoLA. It didn’t succeed back then, partly because I didn’t have a plan for it, partly because of the limitations of such messages (which I discuss below) and partly because there were quite a few people who made a point of making things more difficult than they need to be - a trait we still see today, and I fear may forever remain in this game. But that’s a depressing thought, so lets not press it.
However, Goku has learnt from my mistakes, and come up with a better system, better organised and better at bringing information to our congress members in-game, which should always be the first point of contact for communication with our players. And for announcements and summaries, the mass message system is great, however when it gets used for debates, the system runs into that infamous wall called Game Engine Limitations.
A mass message can only be sent to 30 people, which is where we hit the first obstacle, since we have 40 congress members. Add to this the Country President and Ministers who all have their input and advice to offer, the number approaches 50, so you can’t have a discussion between the whole of congress in-game. As such, congress is split in half, and since the initial split of congress members was along party lines (although as of this evening this is no longer the case) there was never any chance for real discussion as the “Them and Us” camps were kept mostly to themselves.
As well as this, they’re a pain to navigate. The biggest discussion mass mail this term reached 75 replies in 3 days, which when you open it simply becomes a wall of text, and finding one specific message for reference becomes near impossible. Speaking of reference, these discussions don’t get saved for future parliaments, where seeing what your predecessors were thinking when they came to their decisions can be an invaluable tool.
And finally, there’s the issue of spam, which we were all subject to when Kamoris decided to make a lot of noise about his terribad war plans. When other methods of discussion are used, moderators can easilly remove the offending posts, and even the offender if needs dictate.
This is where external forums, like the eUK forums come in. When a discussion takes place on a forum, it has no limits on how many people can join in. When a discussion takes place on a forum, posts are easily sorted and paged, and if you want to find a specific post, there’s a search function for that, instead of rooting through your inbox. When a discussion takes place on a forum, spammers can be removed, for great justice.
I love the fact we now have a quick and easy method for getting information out to our congress members in game, and I thank Sage Goku for the work he’s put in to provide and maintain it. However, when the same system is used for discussion, it hits the limitations of the system pretty fast, and we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves to just one form of communication when better ones exist for the task.
We should use all the tools available to us.
~Blue And Evil
Congress Member who just wants to make his own job easier.
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.