Assemblany: Towards Democratic Corporations

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Example #1: The Medieval Democratic Republic of Cyberspace

One example of an assemblany in practice:

A MMORPG created by a group of people, who agree to contribute equally towards the costs of servers, web hosting, admin time etc through monthly license fees. In return, they get a vote on all policies and policy changes [*]. This includes creating, modifying or deleting player abilities, items, quests, monsters (mobs) etc. Meta-rules would govern the voting on policy changes.

The base for the software could be an existing open-source project such as Arianne, Worldforge or even a graphical MUSH. New code, images and rules could be added by a subset of the players (as defined by the meta-rules) and/or by paid developers or artists - again, the salaries would come from the fees.

This should cut down on complaints about nerfing and what are perceived to be unilateral decisions, since any such rule-change would have to pass a vote ... Though depending on the voting meta-rules, it is still possible that minorities could feel victimised.

While it's unlikely that such a MMORPG would be as popular as existing MMORPGs in the short-term (since its graphics and content couldn't match the huge investments of mainstream MMORPGs), it should still be fun for its players; through its gradual change and development over time, it would also push the boundaries of player-led and designed online games ...


[*] To some extent, admin and development staff would still make some policy decisions by default or due to limited time available to consult, but these would be subject to review by the voters.

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