Honestly? Not much.
Congressmen headed to Charlie Palmer for lunch
With the limitations the admins have chosen to place on the game; the changes to the modules slowly whittling down the options given players, and the focus on stripping away meta play in favor of keeping people down a set path, Congress has much less to do than it did when I first joined several years ago.
Once upon a time we had truly visionary people working in and with Congress, because the game was a sandbox. It allowed diligent people like One Eye to flourish, and for new players to have an impact by bringing fresh eyes to mechanics that allowed manipulation by collectives of players. Group play was required if you wanted to have an impact. Now all that is required is a PayPal account and a willingness to fund Alexis' need for a broad variety of wigs and pet sandworms he can ride around the office.
With that in mind, I'd like to propose a change to the way Congress operates in what is left of our meta-game.
I want individual Congressmen to be the first point of contact for new players.
An excited new player at the Capitol
Most of us are disillusioned with the game. Dio knows I am, and so should you after reading my opening to this article. That being said, with the limited role Congress has in actually doing anything lately, why not put them to work? New people can understand that a Congressman is elected, and the title alone provides the (often wrong) impression that this person knows something about something. Harness that belief and engage them.
So, Party Presidents, this goes out to you:
Stop running dumbasses.
I don't want to hear that you don't. Every party does, period.
Set the minimum age for people you'll run at 3 months, anyone younger than that can do party work or help out with the Department of the Interior. There is just about exactly enough to keep someone busy for about a month when they join up these days, so let them go through the motions just like we used to have to do.
Make sure the people you're running understand the mechanics of the game. There aren't that many any more, and they aren't complicated. If they can't master them, they shouldn't be in Congress. Don't use it as a testing ground, because they should be helping other people once they're in Congress, not learning the basics themselves.
Require forum and/or IRC activity of all candidates. I used 'or' because I understand some people don't have the time to devote to being on IRC much, but not reading the forum once a day (and posting occasionally) just means you aren't even trying to keep up, let alone contribute. Sure, things can be slow, but activity begets activity. Any good MU or Party leader can tell you that. Oh, and I mean the national forums, not your party forum. The game is larger than your party or MU, and if you're going to be involved in national issues, you need to be on the national stage.
Don't run people for another term if they suck. With very few exceptions, nobody has earned a lifetime spot in Congress. Those who have typically have access to the discussions anyway, and that's the really important bit anyway. Even those few exceptions won't care if they lose their access, because they know the ropes enough to know what's coming. So unless their name is Cromstar or rainy sunday or another person of that caliber, they aren't entitled to crap.
I've done basically everything there is to do in this game, and this is the best advice I can give if you really want to 'save' whatever it is people talk about saving.
This is about as long as an article not published by the God-Emperor or his chosen prophets should be, so I'll close here.
As always, if needed, I remain
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