Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Are games like Settlers V. challenging the Hegels concept of Weltgeist ("World Spirit")?
So when I was cleaning my older game stash I stumbled upon PC game Settlers V. Golden edition, and remembered about a thought I had, so I´m making it a topic. And now I am kinda angry that I didn´t made screenshots of it, so I´ll be using photos from the internet. Not actuall for this topic, but only for ilustration. Oh my god, this will be a long one... and borring.
Brief introduction: (!Warning!: this part is borring, but you need to read it to understand :-/)
The Settlers V. Gold edition was made by Ubisoft. It is a strategic game where you must raise your city and form an army againts your enemy. It is placed in fictional medieval times and it has its pros and cons, I kinda like it, so if you wanna try it, go buy it. The Gold edition part adds early riffles, inns, architects and bridges to the game, but it is not necessary to know it right now.
The analogy or more like a riddle:
So I was playing one of the single player maps, not campaing, because I kinda hate those, and after I exhausted the mines, I rebuild the places as small villages with trading functions, so basically at that time this analogy came across my mind.
Imagine a village in medieval times, let´s say in the times of inquisition, somewhere in a rich monarchic state in Europe. It is very very far from another village or town, so they must often act on their own. This village has only two entrances and is guarded by mountains around it. At each of the entrances to the village are 2 canon towers, so the village has basically 4 of these. Each canon tower needs 3 people (this isn´t in the game) to operate. In the middle of the village is a road that runs through the village and it connects both of the entrances. On the right side of the village is a Treasure-house with 7 tax-collectors. There is also a Farm with 3 farmers that provide food for the Tax-collectors, and a
1. Who will become Mayor of this village?
2. Who will operate the cannons in the time of need?
3.Will the village secede from the King?
4.Will the village secede from the Church?
5.Who will have the upper hand in the village?
6.What consequences will it have on the country?
Now give yourself a time and think about it. Don´t read further, because you are ruining it for yourself.
I really need to stop call it "Conclusion", because it is basically my thoughts, even they sound logical, but I make so many stupid things, that when I make something smart, it suprises me :-/.
Basically, my opinion can be summed into this scene from Game of Thrones:
If you cannot load the video, click here.
Now think. By this video you will say my answer is that the monks will have the upper hand. Will they? If you think about it, the real power in the village is in the hands of Farmers by providing food. But for a common peasant wich is in minority, even they are 6 farmer in the village, they are separeted by bigger groups into halves so if the monks and tax-collectros make a deal, they would be basically enslaved. Yes, Monks have the upper hand, because for everybody that dosen´t believe in God, will be burned alive back then, but the Tax-collectors can also threat people for not paying taxes and sending them to prison or even bribe them to do stuff, even illegal. So what your answers were?
Basically I am saying that Hegel was wrong and I am prepared to be eaten alive by Academics in this field. The manifestion of World Spirit doesn´t depends on the history of human thoughts and actions, because those are immidient responses to surroundings of human being to survive. Even though you can see something like World Spirit happennig when people are dying out, but it is an illusion created by the basic sense of survival. I am saying that linking thoughts troughout the history as something that people are making alive as some sort of creature is nonsense. The actions and thoughts are temporal and they can been seen like that, but people continue develop ideas because the era which they live in is changed by the time they start to develop the current idea, and it isn´t necessity that the idea is true. So people have this "false continuity" when they enter fields of study, but they must think of them as groups, not timeline if they want to disover something new.
In our today society we went through lot of ideas and "-isms", like Donatism, pragmatism, racism, nacism and so on, and yes it shaped our world, but for example, if few of us were sent on other planet with nothing, we will start from the begging, because there will be no reminders of our past as humanity. There is no such thing as World Spirit as a summary of actions of every individual, but as I call it, "Spirit of One", that can influence another, and then a influenced group of people can make a mark on our History which others can study and depend on because of their basic survival instict that can become power-hunger. This "Spirit of One" is constant due our consciouness, and will be till our evolution dosen´t say otherwise. This "Spirit of One" dosen´t have history, because it lives now, in every human being and is separated from others. It only has a development (as adding and adding a lego brick to make a tower), different in every individual (someone could tell "embrace your inner child", but it is our behaviour that went into our unconsciousness, we didn´t become mature, we just stopped using some traits of our personality and started to use the ones that we discovered learning.), and it is different also because of Einsteins relativity, where time for everyone isn´t the same. That last one was because of our mentality, it takes time to develop, so if you see someone behaving stupid, be calm. It takes time :D.
We are all born as empty shells, and we all learn to hate if we choose to. That´s why social simulators are often wrong in their solutions with deeper problems, because they don´t count with the extras of human nature, that even we didn´t discover yet. You can see that by my questions about the village you were making schemes to answer them correctly. But on which variables you depend on? We were shaped by what we learned and we shaped our needs by it, but don´t forget, it´s also vice versa.
So at the end I must say that, power resides were mans needs reside, they are the shadow on the wall. Now you can start again and think about questions, but in term of needs of villagers. You will see that your answers will be clearer and much more likely to happen.
So after this borring shit I am not expecting someone to survive it to the end. But if you did, please let me in the comments or twitter, or facebook what are your thoughts and answers.
See ya next time ;-)