Dome-ocracy: The troll’s way to play

Michael Dearman.jpg
Dearman is a senior majoring in political science and philosophy.

Democracy is better than anarchy, especially when anarchy involves losing your Pokemon or spending endless hours trying to pick up an item, making it to a new city or switching out your Pokemon at a PC.

“Twitch Plays Pokemon” is the newest Internet phenomenon, which one Redditor, MythrilZenith, described “Twitch Plays Pokemon” as “a live stream, in which an IRC-bot takes commands from the chat and implements them into an emulated game boy playing “Pokemon Red.”

Here’s the catch: there are tens of thousands of people playing the same game! I can only describe it as 80,000 people trying to play a game with one controller.

The advocates for anarchy obviously have the upper hand in the debate about how best to play Pokemon, and I’ll admit that anarchy is a joy to watch (when we’re not spinning around aimlessly), especially when 13 Pokemon released like they were this past “Bloody Sunday.”

However, the Dome is really the true incarnation of productive game governance.

The problem with anarchy is one of size and space. Too many voices means too many directions, often uncoordinated with each other or foiled by trolls (like myself). I will grant that much has been accomplished under anarchy, but I need only point to a few key moments, like in the Safari Zone, to demonstrate that democracy
is essential.

If there are too many people working toward goals in different ways, the assembly becomes a mob. In “Pokemon Blue,” another game that Twitch.tv has running only has about 6,000 players, but is vastly more successful, suffering from fewer bumps on the way to victory. Why?

The issue, I think, has to do with the number of individuals who can actually contribute to decision-making.

A small enough group of individuals contributing to a collectively determined end is more likely to attain that end than a larger group that is comprised of varied interests (trolling, using move X over move Y in a battle, etc.).

The key is to aggregate interests. The larger the population becomes, the more difficult it is to guide discourse and decision-making to more productive ends. Hence, democracy, despite what religious fanatics of the Helix Fossil contend, is truly the more productive government. Thus, the Dome Fossil is much more apt to be our leader, promoting democracy, the true guide to freedom as opposed to anarchy in which we are constantly stumbling about.

As I write this, Red is stuck in Pallet Town without reason. What a fitting metaphor that Red, who has progressed thus far on a synthesis of anarchy and democracy should, with the victory of anarchy over democracy, end up exactly where he started.

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