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Roleplaying! As if the world weren't full of enough history without inventing more …
Tribal Wars as exchange network
Antropological research of a number of non-western societies and some still existing hunter/gatherers revealed a system where exchanging gifts creates inter-relationships. Communities operating within such an exchange network accept commitments to, and also gather commitments from, other communities.
These then form a further basis for arranging all kinds of important business: maintaining friendships, creating diplomatic alliances, a defense against an “external” aggressor, exchange of villages and even players on occasion, receiving resources when no longer or not available, and receiving additional support when involved in a tribal war.
And a community that can give resources, support, or can attack on behalf of a mate, becomes more important, more influential, and more powerful. I think this is how power concentrations grow. It also seems to work on an individual level: exchange networks such as tribal wars offer ample opportunities for increasing personal power.
- Some players have nothing on their profile, which says something, others have neat graphics and/or some personal power statement.
- Players can exchange experiences and lessons learned on the tribal and per-world-forums, and a lot of that is power exchanges too.
- Players can send resources to more people in steps: first to your tribe members, and a month later to others as well. It isn’t exceptional when a tribe member, after thwarting an aggressor and agressing in return, is supported by resources from an entire tribe. Revenge is still an acceptable motivation in these tribal times and ages.
- And there is the market. Which offer do you accept from whom?
Gimme some rum!