Friday, September 14, 2018

Benefactor: the New Board Game

In this science fiction, every baby gets a million dollars at birth.  That's right, you're a millionaire out of the "box". But that must by funny money, right?  Some loser crypto?

The ideology is simple:  we're born helpless but with entitlements, to care from guardians at first.

Whether we're talking nuclear families or the UN Declaration of Human Rights is negotiable before game play.  Benefactor comes with a wide array of settable parameters (see: configuration file).  Accept the defaults to begin immediately, and then adjust with the wisdom of hindsight.

Regardless of what our rights are precisely, ensuring them takes funding, and giving
everyone the same million dollar account seems unarguably a good design.  One deals people in.

You can't expect a baby to hold down a full time job.

Provide the money up front and gradually build towards a right of passage wherein adult level access to Benefactor is conferred.

However, to have a game one needs a plot.  Many squander their million through lack of discipline, or encounter tragic misfortune through no fault of their own.

Without specific skills or a life plan, and with no other such secure source of income, some players, of necessity, turn to preying upon others, including by looking for flaws in the Benefactor scheme's overall security.

Could there be a way to get a second million?  Superstitions and rumors abound.   Players are not promised a world free of fake news, scams, hoaxes, pyramid schemes.

The corporate side of Benefactor is pretty huge, with vast enough inventories to make good on the claims of their sponsored parties, namely everyone, from birth.

Now imagine the computer game, based on the board game.

You'll want to do more homework regarding Benefactor.

The aforementioned ideology has roots in Egyptian metaphysics, especially in this "22nd Century" (ahead of its time) interpretation of Pharaoh Ikhnaton's religion: the Sun provides enough wattage to justify the million dollar per child fund.

Think of charging batteries.  Money measures a potential to pay for work.

You might think everyone would just kick back in this scenario. No one works, because hey, everyone is thinking "I'm one of the idle rich, I'll just sip martinis by the pool".  Nothing gets done.  Civilization breaks down.  Not only do the trains not run on time, they don't run at all.  What millionaire wants to play with trains?

A lot of them, as it turns out. Both simulations and real life experiment shows most people prefer to do meaningful work, committing their energy in ways that makes a difference, to others not just to themselves.

In fact, with Benefactor encouraging education and skills training, and with ubiquitous "authorized access only" obstacle courses, most players feel an urge to compete, achieve, excel.

Humans come with an innate athleticism that inspires them to set new records.

They play lots of "Glass Bead Games" and tackle real world challenges, such as space travel, for amusement.

In sum, many players still choose medical school while others train to become astronauts.

In general, many humans commit a lot of their initial million towards skills building and cognitive training.

Not all players want serious or heavy responsibilities, however, instead opting for more fun in the sun, at least in some chapters, especially as children.

Benefactor is non-judgemental.  The system was not put in place with the idea of "rewarding good behavior".  Other rewards systems run in parallel to Benefactor.  Benefactor is not the only game in town.