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#Actualsunandshadow

Posted 01 September 2013 - 01:51 AM

@BarefootPhilosopher The lack of historical pure-barter societies doesn't necessarily preclude a primarily-barter game economy.  Ok, before money society had a gift-obligation or gift-authority system. A "wealthy" person in a pre-money society who distributed that wealth wouldn't have as many future needs, nor would the gift-receivers have enough future resources, to pay back the gifts with other gifts, so instead it would turn into a situation where the wealthy person or family discouraged or punished disobedience by withholding gifts, the same way a government punishes disobedience to laws by withholding freedoms and protections.  So a pre-money wealthy person accrued government-like authority, i.e. became nobility.  BUT, the thing is that this kind of gift-debt system can't happen in a game where players have no way to force each other to pay their debts in any form.  In a tribe or small village the wealthy person was the center of a clique and the clique members were often willing to beat up or kill anyone who displease the wealthy person, because this kind of violent demonstration of loyalty might earn the clique member more favor and gifts from the wealthy person.  In a game it is usually impossible for people to bully each other into doing something.  Also, there often isn't much in the way of service or obedience a debtor could give to a person who is wealthy within a game.  So, this historical system, while fascinating, isn't something we're going to see in games, unless and until they get a heck of a lot more real.

 

On the other hand, bartering does exist as a thing people do in the absence of money.  Children who don't carry wallets trade things with each other all the time.  Co-workers too, in a situation where it would be socially inappropriate for one to give the other money, trade favors.  It's interesting to people who are used to a money-based economy because the strategy of making a profit by a series of barters is different from the strategy of making a profit by a series of purchases and sales.  Perfectly good material for creating a different-from-modern-life atmosphere within a game.


#1sunandshadow

Posted 01 September 2013 - 01:50 AM

@BarefootPhilosopher The lack of historical pure-barter societies doesn't necessarily preclude a primarily-barter game economy.  Ok, before money society had a gift-obligation or gift-authority system. A "wealthy" person in a pre-money society who distributed that wealth wouldn't have as many future needs, nor would the gift-receivers have enough future resources, to pay back the gifts with other gifts, so instead it would turn into a situation where the wealthy person or family discouraged or punished disobedience by withholding gifts, the same way a government punishes disobedience to laws by withholding freedoms and protections.  So a pre-money wealthy person accrued government-like authority, i.e. became nobility.  BUT, the thing is that this kind of gift-debt system can't happen in a game where players have no way to enforce each other to pay their debts in any form.  In a tribe or small village the wealthy person was the center of a clique and the clique members were often willing to beat up or kill anyone who displease the wealthy person, because this kind of violent demonstration of loyalty might earn the clique member more favor and gifts from the wealthy person.  In a game it is usually impossible for people to bully each other into doing something.  Also, there often isn't much in the way of service or obedience a debtor could give to a person who is wealthy within a game.  So, this historical system, while fascinating, isn't something we're going to see in games, unless and until they get a heck of a lot more real.

 

On the other hand, bartering does exist as a thing people do in the absence of money.  Children who don't carry wallets trade things with each other all the time.  Co-workers too, in a situation where it would be socially inappropriate for one to give the other money, trade favors.  It's interesting to people who are used to a money-based economy because the strategy of making a profit by a series of barters is different from the strategy of making a profit by a series of purchases and sales.  Perfectly good material for creating a different-from-modern-life atmosphere within a game.


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