WahKahn in (MMO)RPG worlds

Roleplaying! As if the world weren't full of enough history without inventing more …

What are roads in Social Cities made of?

Roads are flat and made of materials based on rocks or crude oil waste and gravel.



Roads have been around since humans first started travelling, trading, and exchanging gifts between tribes. These roads wind around obstacles because when we walk, we’d rather go around than spend the time and energy on removal. Nobody owned these roads, and they were naturally formed by “the travellers easiest path”.

Dirt roads

After the transition from hunting/gathering to an agricultural society, people became “land owners” and that meant being responsible for dirt roads. It was simple and in rural areas (and even some urban areas), along property lines. Most vegetation and some obstacles were cleared away by the owners.

When the wheel was invented and subsequently carts, it really became important to clear away obstacles, and the roads became a community effort. We all benefit from increased trade. It was well worth the cost, for most.

With personal “ownership of land” and “ownership of goods” a new situation arises where such ownership represents “power”. Trading increased because of the desire to “sell more”.

“Ownership” is also a vulnerability, replacing tribal squirmishes over women with war over lands and cattle. And as ownership size increased so did size of conflicts (not frequency). We moved into holds, keeps and castles and siege weapon size and impact increased with. The Romans are coming!

Brick roads

And in the escalation of the arms race, the siege weapons became more heavy. The trouble with dirt roads is that they are hard to maintain if they are not travelled upon frequently and the fact that they become mud pits after rains or after a winter thaw. Engineers began to develop new innovations to make roads more convenient and passable. This included different sand mixtures and different grades of gravel and tars.

The idea of the brick road has been around quite a while. The Romans used the idea to allow for quicker transportation in urban areas.

They look nice, but they can be rather difficult to construct and maintain. They are laid entirely by hand and it takes time, and not only during construction. Shutting down of traffic for construction or repair is also a cost consideration. In Social City such road sections cost one city buck each. That’s expensive. Each level up in the game gives you one city buck.

Asphalt roads

Early in the twentieth century we invented asphalt, combining elements from crude oil waste and different grades of gravel. It is cheap and easy to lay down on any flat surface of sand as a base and it stands up much better to the test of traffic and Mother Nature. Being more smooth, wheels of vehicles need less repair and maintenance. In Social City such roads do not cost anything.

Nowadays, in modern cities world wide, asphalt is the most common found road type used. Still, a new surface of asphalt has to be laid down on top of the existing surface from time to time, as it is not entirely unconquerable. In Sim City the various roads required maintenance. In Social City not (yet).

My Yellow Brick road

I wonder how many of these cities could be seen as indirect self-portraits? And if they can be seen that way, what do they say about us? ~ Michele24/05/2010 at 14:59

My reply:

I believe all of them are Moebius type projected self-portraits, where our self-portrait was long ago influenced by our image-makers.

And that the “quality without a name” concept supports conscious decision-making for “what works” and “what doesn’t” in context. ~ Nynke Etk Fokma25/05/2010 at 12:53

Both my cities, SsKwan and Sachiko are relatively young, level 17 and level 18, but for both I use all my city bucks on buying red bricks. They are so much more beautiful and it “just feels right”. So I am clearly solving a problem.

What jumps to mind, is that apparently I do not care about city bucks that much, and value “beauty” over “bottom line”. True. The association with “localisation” is another message I clearly see. In the current circumstances, where the entire world, and all nations and people in it, are in a gateway process brought about by “bubbles” in a system that is unfair and based on myths, that is not so unexpected.

I am not at war with war, men have to have their testosterone spells, its all physically built in and it seems many men have a problem transcending it. Yet the organised scale at which war and competition is happening in the world, is rediculous.

Brick roads spellcast “local community” and oversight and regulation by the community itself, and not imposed by some generalised regulation, made by people not living in that particular context. People can captain their own ships, and do not give away their power to some anonymous government or structured army where (blind) obedience and “we didn’t know” are key.

Winding paths

Red bricks were my second choice because the dirt paths as implemented in Social City are unpleasing to my eye. Another grahics would solve that, easily. Had winding paths been available I would have preferred those over the other three available roads for my cities.

Why? Because it spells warriors instead of soldiers. And each and every mature person being a master of their own choices, being response-able for what comes back to themselves as a result of that. An abundant use of the Law of Two Feet!

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