As academic projects go, Emergence is a corker: a science fiction MMO of the 22nd century, based on global diplomacy on the wake of robot apocalypse. It’s an idea being developed by a small team of students and professors at Duke University NC, in the wake of a conference about the effects new media might have on politics and diplomacy in the 21st century. Having been ravaged by robots it’s time to rebuild the Earth, and you’ll do so via game mechanisms which “allow players to negotiate and enter into contractually binding agreements, alliances, and associations.” While they’re not quite on the ball by claiming that it will be “the first massively multiplayer online game to encourage cooperation and diplomacy over violence,” the principles are sound, and it’ll be fun to see if the small academic team can pull it off. You can read about their plans via a blog post here, or watch their trailer below. I don’t know if this project will get beyond the conceptual stages, but I hope it does.
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