Text Based RPG - 7 Steps to Running the Joint
Political Advice For People Who Play MUD Games
By RA Pickett and Jeremy B Saunders
Know yourself and your character you create.
You may join an online game with the intention of forming a political career. Again, you may discover how politics in an addicting game functions and find that you are interested. Eventually, you will run for an office, or be appointed through the recommendation of others. Yet, you might stumble into political careers and wake up to see that you are running a city, order, or even a clan. The most important quality that you can possess in text games is to know your limits. Are you able to commit time to run for office and to organize a city, guild, or order? Do you have the patience to deal with others who may have opposing views, and who may challenge your core values? Most of all, are you able to put away your own feelings for the greater good or the city, order or clan? If so, political office may be good for you.
Understand your city-state or organization.
Know the representative governmental form of your city before you run for office. Some online text games have cities that are Monarchies, Autocracies, Elected Democracies, Theocracies, or Anarchies. What is important is that you know the definition of each city-state and how they function. Moreover, learn about surrounding villages that may be inhabited by NPC denizens. Why? That is an important aspect of politics and diplomacy. If you understand the other city-states and officials you may work with then you will understand the world view that they hold, and how it may agree or oppose your city. This way you can effectively predict how to respond to questions, challenges, and situations that may arise from misunderstandings.
Learn the structure of your city-state or organization.
Typically it can be outlined in a very easy manner. First is found the people or the general population. Next the Ruling Council of your city is elected to represent houses and free citizens. This may vary from city to city. The ruling council is headed by a city leader who may or may not be chosen by the citizens. The city leader may be placed through family lineage, election, or by the divine. Again, understand your governmental form to understand how the city leader is appointed. After the city leader is appointed, learn about the bureaucracy or the various ministries. Cities generally have other positions such as Ministers of Culture, War, Development, Security, and officials who serve as Stewards, Chancellors, Ambassadors, and Treasurers. These offices are often supported by a body of citizens who are aides to the officials who serve if the main official is gone. What is important here is that each person in the offices, be they the lead or the aide, knowledge of the office and how it functions is essential. Thus, like governmental form and understanding it, educate yourself on how each office functions. If you do not know, then ask the Minister or city official and you will find out.
Understand your city laws and city constitution.
Most cities have laws that help society function. These laws are often found at the gates or near the entry of the city. Upon becoming a citizen you may be asked to read them. It is important that you do read the laws and know them. Many will skip over this thinking that it can be read at a later time. Yet, an informed citizen will take the time to read and to understand the laws. If something is not clear, ask a house mate, city mate, or city official to explain the laws to you. Once the laws are understood, you may wish to go to other cities in the realm and read the various documents found in those cities. This way you begin to understand how those citizens feel, think, and react, and how it may or may not agree with the laws where you live. Feel free to engage others in conversation (not argument) over city laws. Learn more about your world and the world around you.
Learn about the various houses, guilds, and orders in your city.
You will find that many houses, guilds, and orders function in the same manner as the city-state government. Learn how the house elects officials, who educates the house new-comers, and who serves in what capacity. Houses, like city states, can be autocracies, democracies, oligarchies, or even dictatorships. As a politician learning about the various houses in your city will help you if there are any internal conflicts that may arise. Also, get to know house leaders and house patrons as they often set the tone for the entire house and how it is run.
Read the city news boards and posts.
Why? Because it is through the city past that you begin to understand the city present. Since the past often informs the present day in a city and within the city culture, the news holds vital historical information that each politician should know. It is not enough to sit back and to lead; a wise politician should be an expert in the city history, laws, and constitution.
The last bit of advice is to take your time.
If it takes you a few months or more to decide to run for an office, do not worry. No one needs to enter the game and immediately become a politician. Be patient and grow. Learn, read, inform yourself. Make friendships in the city and beyond the city walls. Join a clan and establish yourself. The longer you take to understand the city, the culture, rules, and laws, and the more committed you are to upholding them; you will find that you will gain the respect and trust of your fellow citizens.
If you like what you have read, try out some great text adventure games.
RA Pickett is an avid text game enthusiast and currently enjoys the most addicting games from www.IronRealms.com.
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