Right here, right now!

Societal discussion is strongly politicized and gridlocked between interest groups, institutions claiming to protect interest groups as well as fanatic devotees of economic and political ideologies.

What if we took game design perspective into our economic system? Games are designed to be fair and motivating. The rules governing our cooperation and strife far what ever each of us considers worth striving for essentially constitute a game! For example money is just one kind of scoring system within the game (and by no means meant to be the ultimate objective of anyone’s game). To ensure that a game is fair and roles are balanced we have to eliminate all obstacles to moving between different roles in the game. You cannot balance Starcraft 3, by making a devoted Terran player and Protoss fanatic debate over what units each should get. They couldn’t possible do so without speculating over which units they’d use against which ones and how to get a competitive edge over the other. Instead, you need to play test it and adjust parameters until each role is equally popular or successful – or auction an equal number of roles for tournaments with hitpoint handicaps (the “market solution”). But neither would it make World of Warcraft a more motivating game if everyone could start off with a level 50 character if they wanted to.

If you are interested in societal discussion starting from this kind of game-design-orientation as well as solving the root causes of problems instead of just fighting over which symptoms to treat, do! Discuss! Start with e.g. your friends over lunch. Here are some additional ways:

–          Share the material – especially with:

  • local economics teachers and researchers,
  • politicians and political parties and associations,
  • environmental and foreign aid activists non-profit organizations,
  • journalists and bloggers,
  • novelists, standup comedians and other artists,
  • other influential people in your community as well as
  • friends interested in the environment, the fate of mankind, economics or even their own financial security.

–          Debate, brainstorm and vision on the forums

  • Discuss the new possibilities that the Root Bug perspective opens up.
  • Share your concerns, disagreements and ideas on the Root Bug forum.

–          Establish a local Sutainability Party

  • The Sustainability Union offers prototypes for the agendas of political parties that renounce interest group politics, look at the society from a game design perspective and aim for a sustainable and antifragile economy. It might serve as a platform to spin off new “pseudo parties” to spur discussion – or even parties seriously looking for votes. Such parties should preferable not be about striving for political power for the participants. Other political parties are not competitors, but possible partners. Getting existing parties to reconsider their agendas would be far more beneficial than winning a few more seats in an election.

–          Ideas are the best gifts

  • The main arguments for the current version of the Root Bug hypothesis are best compiled in the book Fixing the Root Bug. However, it is not a final “manifesto”. Dogmatization is what we want to avoid. Development is an iterative process. Theories can only become robust, or anti-fragile, when all their components are made fragile, i.e. open for harsh scrutiny and tests. Criticism and ideas on the forum are utilized in creating the next edition of the book.
  • The Guilt Economy, an upcoming book, gives a brief intro to ethics, epistemology and psycholinguistics and continues with metaphors showing stark contradictions in what we currently consider economically “ethical”.
  • Both books serve as enlightening gifts to anyone with a critical mindset willing to broaden their horizons. You can order these in print and electronically.