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  1. #1
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Default Geeky game about politics

    If you like Political Theory, History, and Writing Stories I have an idea.

    I've been working on a "parallel universe" version of United States politics, in story format. Just for fun. I put together the setting, which has a different history leading up to it that formed a different political situation than we see today. But that's not the focus--the focus is treating it like current events, and letting the diplomacy and cultures and events unfold, interacting with each other. It centers mostly around thinking about different forms and methods of government.

    Unfortunately, I'm not very good at story writing, so I'd love to have new ideas from other people on where the "plot" could go. Anybody interested?

    (open to any and all types, of course)

    Oh yeah:
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  2. #2
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Firstly, that's a cool idea! (nerd moment)

    Secondly, I just wrote (and, just now, deleted) this ginormous post having not read that you already had the concept done. So I wrote all these ideas, like what if Eugene Debs had won the presidential race and America became a socialist state... and all for naught. Sad.

    So... what's your concept? I don't know how reliable anyone's story advice will be without knowing what the changes in society are.

    p.s. You should read this book called "And Having Writ..." by Donald Bensen, and see this movie called "The Confederate States of America", because they're both really excellent examples of alternate histories. Not that they help you with your project... but you know.
    Last edited by EJCC; 12-30-2008 at 01:56 AM. Reason: me being stupid
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  3. #3
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Well, thank you! The thing is that I already have the basic setting laid out, so those who don't like the setting couldn't enjoy the game/story (maybe).

    Heck, if we need to, maybe we could do two of them, one for yours and one for mine.

    It's based on one of those "regionally fragmented America" scenarios. I gave each "country" a political/economic/social ideology, which can shift and develop over time of course, and tried to cover the span of all political ideas. And I did it based roughly on their real-life political preference now and exaggerating them. Just for fun.

    What mine doesn't deal with is the changes in history that led it to the story's starting point. I just assumed a new starting point, and where to go from there. One time, I tried to start something more like you're talking about, but it seemed like a lot to handle...it never went anywhere. It would still be fun to try, though.

    Should I give more info on the political backdrop?

    I'm afraid I might have to clean up some bias first. I want to make some good things and bad things happening in all the varieties of governments and societies.

    And you were going to post a thread, so you must have had something in mind:

    What would you like to do?
    Last edited by Cimarron; 12-30-2008 at 07:24 PM. Reason: continue?
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  4. #4
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    ^
    Oh, no, I wasn't going to make a thread. Just a post, with different ideas for concepts... because I didn't read the thing about you already having an idea. This is your thing, not mine.

    And you probably should give more info - preferably as much as you can. I'm a detail person, so it helps to be well informed. For instances, which subjects are you biased on? Bias often comes from lack of exposure to things, so maybe other readers of this thread can give their input.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  5. #5
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Here's what I have for the setting (next few posts) :

    ----------------------

    Alaska --0 mil --0.7 million
    Hawaii --1 mil --1.3 million
    New Vancouver --8 mil --7.6 million
    Oregon --11 mil --10.8 million
    California --24 mil --23.6 million
    Nevada --2 mil --2.4 million
    Utah --3 mil --2.5 million
    Colorado --5 mil --4.7 million
    New Mexico --12 mil --11.9 million
    Nebraska --11 mil --11.3 million
    Texas --23 mil --22.9 million
    Louisiana --7 mil --7.3 million
    Ohio --30 mil --30.2 million
    Michigan --30 mil --29.9 million
    Florida --13 mil --12.8 million
    Mississippi --18 mil --17.6 million
    Carolina --35 mil --35.0 million
    Pennsylvania --18 mil --17.9 million
    New York --42 mil --41.5 million
    Vermont --0 mil --0.6 million
    Maine --3 mil --3.4 million

    Mississippi + Ohio + Pennsylvania = League of Louisville (66 mil) --**Don't know if I want to do this one


    Those are the countries, with a rounded population, and a more precise population. The underlined ones are the dominant countries, by way of largest population. These are the ones that probably interact the most with countries outside America, like Europe, Asia, etc.

    I tried to put them in neat columns, but this site won't let me, or I don't know how.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  6. #6
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    The political preferences were "grouped" loosely into

    Left: Communists, Democrats, Stalinists
    Right: Free-Market Liberals, Conservative Liberals, Fascists
    Also: Royalists, Anarchists

    using pretty much European understandings of those terms. (Except for Stalinist, which I think I made up. There must be a more common term to describe it. Basically, the Left-wing version of Fascism.) Conservative Liberal should be something like the U.S. Republican party. I was actually thinking of Civic Platform parties in Eastern Europe when I called it that. I hope that's not too far off. Communist means something more like Anarcho-Communist, not USSR stuff.

    Even though I grouped them by political preference, they're each supposed to have their own "flavor" of government. It would be kind of boring to make so many similar ones. So help me out if you see this happening. The grouping is just for fast identification.

    In the more descriptive list below, I assumed that "mostly _____" means that the dominant political parties/ideas are ______ or the ones closest to it. So when I say "Texas is mostly Conservative Liberal," I mean that that's the most noticeable element, followed by other Right-wing parties.

    ------------

    Maine (3 mil) is mostly Free-Market Liberal. It has a President much like the U.S. did, but limited in power. Most power is held in the large bicameral Congress. The Senate has seats based on districts, and the House of Representatives has seats by proportional party votes. Much like Texas, it does not recognize international governing bodies. It does not meet much criticism for this, as Maine mostly keeps to itself (and is not a strong nation).

    Vermont (0 mil) is mostly Communist. It has no legislature; rather the entire voting population passes laws through initiative, referendum, and recall. There are Boards of Committeemen elected to write these laws (but this is their only duty), and a Secretary-General to enact the laws. It has no formal agreements with other countries, but none of its neighbors are hostile, so there is considered to be no need to change the status quo.

    New York (42 mil) is mostly Stalinist. It has a very large unicameral legislature based on proportional party representation, and has a Prime Minister with only insignificant power. The highly urban society has slowly become a “surveillance state.” There is much authority invested in the state. New York is a major world power, and participates in many global missions, generally as an ally of France, Britain, and other European countries.

    Pennsylvania (18 mil) is mostly Conservative Liberal. It has a weak President and Cabinet, and a very large bicameral legislature. Both houses are directly elected by a district system, but the Union Body (upper house) system draws larger districts than the National Body (lower house). Most of Pennsylvania’s citizens are poor or close to it.

    Carolina (35 mil) is mostly Royalist. It has a constitutional monarchy, with a King elected every three years and an unlimited number of possible re-elections. It has a mid-sized unicameral legislature, with almost evenly balanced power against the King’s executive power. The King can appoint Ministers and Advisors, but only if the Carolina Assembly votes their approval. The Assembly can vote to remove or convict the King if he breaks the law. The King and his Ministers handle all foreign negotiations, while the Assembly votes on fiscal and domestic matters. Carolina is a major world power and has a strong active military, and has somewhat of an alliance with Israel. It often goes on global missions, but does not act as a “team player”, caring nothing for world consensus or outside approval of those missions.

    Mississippi (18 mil) is mostly Conservative Liberal. It is very socially traditional, and most of its governance is concerned with that structure of moral law, but not much else. Like Utah, Mississippi also keeps much to itself. Government is strong but local. It has a moderate-strength President that enforces the laws, a Congress elected according to local districts, and a Senate elected by regional legislatures. Mississippi has an armed citizenry to act as militia in case of invasion. Every office has term limits, and the terms are short. Racism is still a problem here, more than in most other places.

    Florida (13 mil) is mostly Fascist. It has a well-liked President, and a large bicameral legislature that is more a relic of the past than anything else. Spurred on by the populace, the President is able to bully the Congress into supporting most measures and regulations. It is a regional power, and often shows animosity toward leftist Latin American countries. There is also a strong presence of Stalinists and Democrats, mostly on the suburban east coast.

    Louisiana (7 mil) is mostly Royalist. It has a hereditary monarchy headed by a Duke or Duchess. Once a state torn by conflicting factions, this was found as a solution to keep law and order. It is a small nation, but has many resources and lucrative industries, and so has become heavily dependent on the political will of its neighbor, Texas.

    Ohio (30 mil) is mostly Democratic. It actually is predominantly Christian Socialist in political doctrine, admiring the order and morals of Carolina, as well as the equality and humanity of Michigan. It has a typical parliamentary structure of government, with a Prime Minister as leader of the government and its representative on the world stage. The Parliament is a bicameral body, with an upper house elected by the lower house, similar to the British model. Ohio is a regional power, usually agreeing with Michigan on regional issues.

    Michigan (30 mil) is mostly Democratic. It has a typical European parliamentary structure of government, with a bicameral legislature, and headed by a Prime Minister and President. Having both agricultural and industrial production, its trade is heavily sought around the world. It has somewhat of an alliance with Canada, New York, and to some extent with Europe. Michigan is a world power, and participates in many global missions.

    Texas (23 mil) is mostly Conservative Liberal. It has a strong executive branch headed by the President, but also a mid-sized Congress to keep him in check. Congress is elected directly in both houses, according to district. Like in Mississippi, the terms are short and limited in number of re-election. However, business corruption is rampant in Texas’s government, leading to an almost Fascist form of government. Some welcome this, but many are strongly resentful of it, compounded by the government’s obvious refusal of immigration control measures. The citizens are currently in outright revolt against their government, which has thrown the Louisiana puppet state into decay as well. Before these times of unrest, Texas was a world power and a wealthy nation, even if militarily and diplomatically isolationist.

    Nebraska (11 mil) is mostly Anarchist. It has the separate states acting almost totally independently of each other. Its executive branch is headed by a Federal Council with a rotating figurehead, like in Switzerland. Simply enough, the members of the Council are the Governors of the individual states. It has no federal legislative body. The citizens are armed into a militia defense, and standing armies are illegal.

    New Mexico (12 mil) is mostly Fascist. It is a military dictatorship, with a singular leader. Conditions are less oppressive than would be otherwise thanks to the desert terrain—the population is relatively small and thinly spread. The border with Mexico is a battle zone, and the Army roams through houses and across deserts looking for illegal immigrants. New Mexico finds itself in a difficult situation in regards to the Texan Revolution. It doesn’t want to see a neighboring government overthrown by the people, but it does want to see Texas take firmer action on the Mexican border.

    Colorado (5 mil) is mostly Communist. It has a parliamentary democracy, open to citizens’ initiatives, referenda, and recalls. It has begun work on an online universal voter system. The President only sees that the laws passed by the People’s Assembly are being upheld uniformly and fairly, and the Prime Minister keeps Colorado away from serious outside conflicts. The citizens are required to be armed and trained in arms use, unless mental or criminal records make them ineligible. Referenda on joining the Nebraska Federation are often brought up, but none has yet passed.

    Utah (3 mil) is mostly Royalist. It has a hereditary Mormon monarchy. It is much more conservative than the other American monarchies, almost Feudalist. The King does appoint Tribunes, to whom his subjects can voice their wishes and appeals, but any such action is made at the King’s discretion. The small kingdom keeps very much to itself.

    Nevada (2 mil) is mostly Free-Market Liberal. It is an almost Anarcho-Capitalist society. It has a many-layered, localized government structure, with each level small, and elected by the level just below it. Nevada’s National Legislature deals mostly with the coining of money, counterfeiting and its penalties, and ensuring a strong and equal justice system (in theory better than in practice). The national executive is headed by the Governor, who does some negotiating and diplomacy, and tries to enforce the laws—though there are not many laws here. Trade and diplomacy is often done with Nevada-based businesses instead of the State of Nevada itself. The citizens mostly arm themselves, and these lands are known for breeding everything from lone outlaws to bounty hunters to crime rings to “corporate protection agencies” (CPAs).

    California (24 mil) is mostly Stalinist. It has large thick layers of government at many levels, and a moderate amount of corruption. The Board of Secretaries acts as an executive arm of the government, as well as the head of agencies, bureaus, and police activities. Most industries are nationalized. Despite urban poverty, overcrowding, and natural disaster hot-spots, California is a world power, in somewhat of an alliance with Australia, Singapore, Mexico, and Venezuela, and has friendly relations with most of Latin America. It trades heavily with China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Russia, and often tries to act as a mediator in disputes between them. This has gotten it into trouble in the past when accused of taking one side or the other.

    Oregon (11 mil) is mostly Anarchist. It has no government; it is a collection of lands not under jurisdiction of a government. The Oregon lands are generally peaceful, even though they serve as a haven for criminals, especially from neighboring Nevada.

    New Vancouver (8 mil) is mostly Democratic. It has a unicameral House of Representatives, balanced with a sufficiently strong President in the executive branch. Processes of government are made very transparent and accessible to the public, and removal from office is easier than it was in the U.S. It has a large volume of trade for a nation of its size, and plays a role as a regional power. Unlike California, Vancouver makes its ideas and positions clear to other nations, and consistently sides against North Korea’s and China’s perceived human rights violations. It keeps friendly relations with Japan and Canada.

    Hawaii (1 mil) is mostly Democratic. It has a typical European parliamentary structure of government, with a Prime Minister and President, along with a bicameral body, similar to the British model. Citizens like to joke that the government is a “bureaucracy” more than a “democracy," but the standard of living is quite good. Being caught in the middle of so many strong Pacific powers, Hawaii claims to operate on strict terms of international neutrality. It serves as a thriving port center.

    Alaska (0 mil) is mostly Free-Market Liberal. It has a small bicameral Congress, with a significant but restrained executive branch headed by the Governor. Power is relatively localized, and the northern and central parts of Alaska are barely governed in anything but writing. It also has massive amounts of resources, and is an important trade partner for Russia and Canada, and to some extent Japan. Thus, this sparsely populated country has some very powerful allies.


    **Red part: I don't know if I want to take it that far. It was something interesting to get a plot going, so I took it.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  7. #7
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    This post is the part of the game that I wanted to get rolling. My plotline so far. The beginning seems kind of goofy to me , having some jumps without explanation. But from there, things go more smoothly, I think.

    Events:

    The Duke of Louisiana organizes a program for armed volunteers to fight in Texas, in support of the government, against the rebels. The stability of Texas is in his best interest, and such a program will give order to the chaotic condition and angry mindset of his citizens.

    The New Mexico government criticizes Louisiana’s new program, saying it should not get involved in an internal Texas affair.

    The President of Texas accepts the Duke of Louisiana’s offer of aid against the rebels. The Texas government has the financial resources to oppose this rebellion, but the rebels far outnumber the loyalists. It is quickly appearing to the outside world that a war is forming along the lines of Texas gov’t and Louisiana vs. Texas rebels and New Mexico. However, New Mexico cannot afford to lend troops to any other nation or situation, as it needs them to police at home. Louisiana—the government and the public—has nothing to lose, and is showing more and more direct support for the government of Texas.

    Oklahoma and Mississippi militias are set on alert, only as a precautionary measure.

    The Colorado People’s Assembly announces that it does not have, and cannot raise, the money needed to build and sustain a universal online-voting system. It rationalizes that the system could be mostly completed, but that it refuses to start such a voting network until it is certain to reach every registered voter. Asking for contributions from the wealthy, it is soon found that the “wealthy” have not much wealth to give. In an embarrassing state of affairs, it finds willing rich Michigan and Nevada contributors to meet the goal.

    The New Vancouver House of Representatives declares their country’s disapproval of the Texas government’s disregard for its citizens, and adds an implied message of support (even if not material) for the rebels.

    The California Board of Secretaries issues a proposal for a discussion forum between the President of Texas and rebel leaders, and presents it to the Texas Congress and the Duke of Louisiana. Both sides brush this off, each suspicious that California wants their side to give in to the other’s demands.

    The latest statements from Vancouver and California are heard by the President of Florida, and to him they indicate a collaboration to push out the right-wing establishment in Texas and nearby regions. He starts to speak out in favor of the Texas government and Louisiana.

    The international petroleum markets start to shift away from Texas and Louisiana oil, and invest more heavily in Alaskan oil. Already a prosperous state, things seem to be getting even better for Alaska.

    The King of Carolina responds to continued Arab criticism about his cooperative policies with the Israeli government: “I will not be intimidated from doing the right thing.”

    The Michigan Parliament adopts, in a fairly close vote, a plan to fully convert their national power grid to nuclear power.

    A Nevada-based group of bandits try to break into a New Mexico army depot to smuggle combat equipment back across the border. They are captured by the army unit on base, and deported to Nevada, except for 2 men of supposedly Mexican origin. The “darker-skinned” members of the group are kept in a military prison in New Mexico, as they are “obviously illegal immigrants, and not affiliated with the raiding bandits.”

    Always happy to give his opinion to those who didn’t ask, the President of Florida decries the New Mexican government’s “racist implementation of policy.” He goes on to say that he thinks it is “deplorable to keep company with the likes of California and Vancouver.” The New Vancouver House of Representatives issues a statement similarly criticizing New Mexico’s racist incident, and commending Florida for taking a stand against it. This series of events makes the Floridian President rethink his convictions, and ultimately set his opinion against New Mexico more than anything else. His pro-Texan and anti-Pacific ideas take second priority.

    A popular religious movement is gaining ground in Ohio. It combines Biblical writings with modern scientific theories of evolution and geologic development.

    The Governor of Nevada alerts the governments of Idaho, New Vancouver, and California that a company of heavily armed men have left Nevada into the northeastern part of Oregon lands. He relays that they are not affiliated with his government in any way, and can be dealt with as criminals if encountered in a hostile situation.

    A wealthy Nevada businessman announces that he would like to post bail for the two wrongly imprisoned Mexican arms-smugglers. The New Mexican military sees a perfect opportunity and publicizes the release. What is left unmentioned is that this businessman has been the “sponsor” for those arms-smugglers’ activities for years. But New Mexico needs the money and the good publicity.

    The majority People’s Party in New York introduces legislation to Parliament that would essentially ban all other political parties in the nation. It only narrowly fails adoption, and Western European nations express shock that New York would even consider such a policy.

    The Governor of Nevada updates his earlier statement. The company of heavily armed men is actually a newly-formed CPA, and is not expected to engage in criminal activities. He was not aware of the CPA’s status until this time.

    There are rumors of racial lynching in poor southeastern Kentucky.

    Hawaii hosts nuclear and trade talks between China, Japan, and the two Koreas. There are also representatives sitting in from California, to show goodwill.

    Michigan’s Parliament announces that heavy water reactors based on the Great Lakes have been built, and can almost assume complete performance of the power grid. More time will be needed until full operation.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  8. #8
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Why are Pennsylvania's residents very poor?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #9
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    More specifically, "Pennsylvania" is supposed to include:

    New York away from the New York City area
    Pennsylvania away from the Philadelphia area
    West Virginia

    New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Connecticut, maybe Baltimore, and maybe Boston were all lumped into "New York".

    And I figured I would make one nation-state poor, because I was running out of things to differentiate between them.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 04-17-2009 at 04:05 PM. Reason: forgot Boston
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  10. #10
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Where are Idaho, the Dakotas, Washington and Montana? Are they all grouped in with Colorado and Utah? Because I think that a few of those states that I mentioned would choose to have a VERY small government, and would be strongly libertarian. (Love the Mormon hierarchy idea, btw.) Like in Alaska, people in that part of America don't want the government getting involved with their business.

    With regard to Texas: isn't "conservative liberal" an oxymoron? Based on what I read in your description, I think "Republican" (as in Republic, not as in the political party) would be better.

    Also, it would be cool if Hawaii were a constitutional monarchy like the UK, since 1. you compared their system to the UK's anyway, and 2. because they used to be a kingdom. (Not that being a kingdom worked out for them... but you know.)

    And for the sake of variety, maybe you could have some of these small nations embrace socialism in the style of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. (I'd go with Oregon and Vermont.)

    One last thing: I have a hard time believing that New York, with such incredibly decentralized power, could become such a powerful dictatorship. I mean, it's practically like US government under the Articles of Confederation, and the national government could hardly control their people at all back then. But anyways, I feel like New York's Prime Minister would need to have MUCH more power for that to work. What do you think?
    Last edited by EJCC; 04-17-2009 at 06:04 PM.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

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