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[DRAFT] Era of Civilisations

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Mabeleyabato
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[DRAFT] Era of Civilisations

Postby Mabeleyabato » Sun Dec 03, 2023 6:26 am

And now for something completely different

Hello all. I've decided to ditch the attempts at crafting a vat-grown issues, as those don't seem to be going anywhere.

See attached a new attempt at an issue. This one draws inspiration from the iconic and amazing Age of Empires real-strategy games, and my ongoing annoyance with the fact that an official sub-Saharan African faction has yet to be in added in any of their games and expansions over the course of the 26 years they've been operating. While this is perhaps understandable, given just how many civilisations and Empires have existed over the course of human history, I wanted to create an issue that examines how a nation might react to not being included as a civilisation in a popular video game.

Let me know what might need work and editing:

Era of Civilisations

Validity: Has not banned computers.

The Maxtopian video game developer Assemble Studios recently released a popular new real-time strategy game, Era of Civilisations, which allows players to take control one of thirteen historical nations and build their humble base into a great Empire, all while conquering their rivals. However, much to the surprise and annoyance of many local gamers, @@NAME@@ is not among the playable civilisations, despite existing in the time period covered.

Option 1: “This is a disgrace!" bellows passionate patriot and avid gamer @@RANDOMNAME@@, clicking a mouse furiously in anger. "We are far more deserving of representation than those dastardly Dàguóren, salty Skands and titchy Tiquitacans! I say we ban Era of Civilisations and cut off all trade with Maxtopia until they agree to add us in as a faction in the game!"

(Effect: @@NAME@@ throws tantrums over video games)

Option 2: “We mean no offense, we just had to be very selective in who we designed as the initial thirteen civilisations” soothes Assemble Studios head of Public Relations @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Tell you what, if you promote the game and it becomes a success, perhaps we can include @@NATION@@ as a playable faction in a DLC expansion in maybe twenty to thirty years' time?”

(Effect: @@NAME@@ is widely regarded as a pushover by other nations)

Option 3: “Or we could just make our own video games" says Soul of the @@ANIMAL@@, a pro-gamer busy modding Era of Civilisations to add in @@NATION@@ as a playable faction. “With some government subsidies we could become a hub for new and innovative video games.” He opens the mod, starts a new game and starts clicking and mashing keys furiously. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to boom so I can spam @@ANIMAL@@ Warriors to rush the Maxtopians’ eco and snipe their King.”

(Effect: a growing number of @@DEMONYMPLURAL@@ spend all day staring at computer screens)

Option 4: “Warriors? Sniping? Booming? That’s just the sorta language I like to hear” croons bellicose General @@RANDOMNAME@@, polishing @@HIS@@ medals enthusiastically. “Maybe the government should set up some Era of Civilisations competitions, and we use that as the perfect training ground for new recruits. We could even use the strategy aspects of the game in our officer training programs.”

(Effect: gamers sent to the front-line are shocked real war isn’t all button mashing and furious clicking)

Option 5: “Back when I was a young’un, we didn’t have these fancy-shmancy video games, we just used to play outdoors on the grass” reminisces @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of @@NATION@@’s oldest citizens, while @@HIS@@ great-great-grandchildren audibly groan. “Boulder-jape, tiddly-slink, @@ANIMAL@@-chase … what was I talking about? Oh yeah, I say you just ban all these video games and computer-ma-whatsits and return to the good old days.”

(Effect: gamers are forced to touch grass after all video games were banned)
Last edited by Mabeleyabato on Sun Dec 03, 2023 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun Dec 03, 2023 6:48 am

Mabeleyabato wrote:(Effect: gamers sent to the front-line are shocked real war isn’t all button mashing and furious clicking)
Strategy games don't tend to involve much button-mashing. Oh, you mentioned it was a real-time strategy game. Okay, whatever. (I was thinking it sounded more like the title of a 4X game.)

Uh, yeah, that's all I have. I do understand your frustration and this issue is competently written, but I still have to ask if this is really something worth reaching @@LEADER@@'s desk. It doesn't seem to be something that governments get involved with much in real life. Plus, there's lots of video games based on history, there's bound to be one that's included @@NAME@@ even if this one hasn't. Why is this game, specifically, a matter of national concern?
Last edited by Trotterdam on Sun Dec 03, 2023 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mabeleyabato
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Postby Mabeleyabato » Sun Dec 03, 2023 6:57 am

Trotterdam wrote:
Mabeleyabato wrote:(Effect: gamers sent to the front-line are shocked real war isn’t all button mashing and furious clicking)
[s]Strategy games don't tend to involve much button-mashing.[/s] Oh, you mentioned it was a real-time strategy game. Okay, whatever. (I was thinking it sounded more like the title of a 4X game.)

Uh, yeah, that's all I have. I do understand your frustration and this issue is competently written, but I still have to ask if this is really something worth reaching @@LEADER@@'s desk. It doesn't seem to be something that governments get involved with much in real life. Plus, there's lots of video games based on history, there's bound to be one that's included @@NAME@@ even if this one hasn't. Why is this game, specifically, a matter of national concern?


It is mostly coming up as it is a particularly popular game.

As for the idea of "there is bound to be a game that includes the nation", sure, there might be, but from my own experience as a South African those can be limited in a number of ways. The only video games I can think of off the top of my head that actually involve South Africa are various Rugby video games, because the Springboks are just that good, and "Boet Fighter", a joke ripoff of streetfighter set in Fourways in Joburg.

Americans, Brits and some other nationalities really get spoilt for choice with video games set in and / or about their nations, but a lot of nations do get overlooked quite a bit by major games, while getting some strange, niche local games.
Last edited by Mabeleyabato on Sun Dec 03, 2023 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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West Barack and East Obama
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Postby West Barack and East Obama » Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:16 pm

The 2nd option did make me think about an altered premise where @@NAME@@ is in the gane, but they're weak and can be easily destroyed (or at least perceived to be by patriots). Then there would be understandable outrage from history buffs and the like who claim that their military dominance is far greater than the game makes it out to be. But in my opinion the premise as it is now is fine to me so if you don't want to make all these changes it is perfectly valid! Just some thoughts.

I don't see how Option 4 is related to solving any problem. I'd tweak it to make it more relevant to the central issue at hand or cut it altogether.
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Mabeleyabato
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Postby Mabeleyabato » Mon Dec 04, 2023 10:14 am

West Barack and East Obama wrote:The 2nd option did make me think about an altered premise where @@NAME@@ is in the gane, but they're weak and can be easily destroyed (or at least perceived to be by patriots). Then there would be understandable outrage from history buffs and the like who claim that their military dominance is far greater than the game makes it out to be. But in my opinion the premise as it is now is fine to me so if you don't want to make all these changes it is perfectly valid! Just some thoughts.

I don't see how Option 4 is related to solving any problem. I'd tweak it to make it more relevant to the central issue at hand or cut it altogether.


Thanks, I do think that could be an interesting angle, and possibly make it more relevant. I'll give it some thought.

I do get what you mean. Option 4 was kind of a last minute addition. I do like to add an option to boost the military, because sometimes that is really what a nation is looking to do, but I get what you mean. I'll think about it, and I may cut it altogether. I might also alter it to the nation threatening to invade Maxtopia for the insult of not including them in the game / making them look weak.
Last edited by Mabeleyabato on Mon Dec 04, 2023 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Vikatari
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Postby Vikatari » Fri Dec 08, 2023 9:38 am

honestly I love this issue, hope you get it published.
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Verdant Haven
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Postby Verdant Haven » Fri Dec 08, 2023 12:49 pm

No love for Mali, Ethiopia, or Hausa? That aside, an interesting angle to get at the idea of national pride. Let's have a look!

- Issue validities: as this is a foreign game, we'd want to block the issue for Autarkies. We also have a specific "No Video Games" policy that will need to be checked.

- Option 1: I'd probably have the demand be to cut off trade until they force the developer to add you to the game. The nation of Maxtopia didn't create it. Honestly, it might be a bit more reasonable to ask that you sanction that particular software developer, rather than demanding that another nation engage in interventive market behaviors that most nations on the planet would never do (and many legally couldn't).

- Option 2: On a similar "reasonableness" note, this might sound better as "two or three years" rather than "twenty to thirty years" (not like a studio PR head would know or control a development timeline anyway! They're going to say what they think will get the right reaction).

- Effect 2: I'm not sure this feels unique/specific enough to the dilemma. This is about gaming, which should leave some wide doors open for amusing lines.

- Option 3: This is a good one – I'd just have the speaker emphasize the point that NAME will be included in these games – keeping it tied to the basic premise of gamers being indignant about being left out.

- Option 4: This seems a bit out of place. If the issue is that nationalists are upset about this game, it doesn't seem like a militant nationalist would suddenly love it just because they found out it includes combat. Perhaps the general wants to support that domestic game production concept, but specifically for creation of military simulators to go prove NAME deserves a place amongst the great empires? Something crazy like that?

- Option 5: There's nothing inherently wrong here... but this is somewhat of a clone of the basic anti-technology old-timer we've used waaaaay too many times in issues over the years. Not every computer-related issue needs a "ban computers" option, so I'd suggest either making this fellow's argument interesting and specific to this particular case, or else considering dropping them from the issue.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Sat Dec 09, 2023 3:10 am

Most civilisations existed in the time periods depicted by Rise of Nations. Very few civilisations are in Rise of Nations. Why is @@NAME@@ special? And why would you want to be included anyway? You'll just have everyone else trying to wipe you out
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Mabeleyabato
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Postby Mabeleyabato » Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:26 am

Verdant Haven wrote:No love for Mali, Ethiopia, or Hausa? That aside, an interesting angle to get at the idea of national pride. Let's have a look!

- Issue validities: as this is a foreign game, we'd want to block the issue for Autarkies. We also have a specific "No Video Games" policy that will need to be checked.

- Option 1: I'd probably have the demand be to cut off trade until they force the developer to add you to the game. The nation of Maxtopia didn't create it. Honestly, it might be a bit more reasonable to ask that you sanction that particular software developer, rather than demanding that another nation engage in interventive market behaviors that most nations on the planet would never do (and many legally couldn't).

- Option 2: On a similar "reasonableness" note, this might sound better as "two or three years" rather than "twenty to thirty years" (not like a studio PR head would know or control a development timeline anyway! They're going to say what they think will get the right reaction).

- Effect 2: I'm not sure this feels unique/specific enough to the dilemma. This is about gaming, which should leave some wide doors open for amusing lines.

- Option 3: This is a good one – I'd just have the speaker emphasize the point that NAME will be included in these games – keeping it tied to the basic premise of gamers being indignant about being left out.

- Option 4: This seems a bit out of place. If the issue is that nationalists are upset about this game, it doesn't seem like a militant nationalist would suddenly love it just because they found out it includes combat. Perhaps the general wants to support that domestic game production concept, but specifically for creation of military simulators to go prove NAME deserves a place amongst the great empires? Something crazy like that?

- Option 5: There's nothing inherently wrong here... but this is somewhat of a clone of the basic anti-technology old-timer we've used waaaaay too many times in issues over the years. Not every computer-related issue needs a "ban computers" option, so I'd suggest either making this fellow's argument interesting and specific to this particular case, or else considering dropping them from the issue.


Thanks for the insights, I'll look at adapting them in soon.

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Mabeleyabato
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Postby Mabeleyabato » Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:30 am

Australian rePublic wrote:Most civilisations existed in the time periods depicted by Rise of Nations. Very few civilisations are in Rise of Nations. Why is @@NAME@@ special? And why would you want to be included anyway? You'll just have everyone else trying to wipe you out


I think that speaks to a desire to see your own nation represented in a video game (e.g. Age of Empire) and getting the chance to be represented. The emphasis on patriotic gamers trying to highlight the perceived relevance of @@NAME@@ seeks to address this.

Perhaps making high levels of Patriotism in @@NAME@@ part of the validity of this issue would help here?


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