Throughout recent years, video games have evolved in a variety of facets. As the industry grows, pioneer developers continually push the envelope on what can be experienced by gamers. However, one aspect in which gaming still has a lot of room to grow is through the communities it fosters. While some games have taken initiatives in emulating realistic social environments, none have truly created an atmosphere in which communities can emerge, grow, and evolve at the full discretion of its players.
Decentralized Autonomous Universes — a True Community Sandbox
Through the use of revolutionary technology accessible via Chimaera’s custom blockchain, gamers will soon be able to connect with millions of other players in an environment of complete empowerment called a Decentralized Autonomous Universe (DAU). A DAU is an environment- from a city, to a planet, to a universe that takes place directly on the Chimaera blockchain. In a DAU, any number of players can connect simultaneously in a real-time, immutable, persistent setting. In this universe, players have complete control to create, destroy, produce, and interact with one another. For the first time, players can play with the utmost freedom to create, destroy, produce, and interact with one another exactly how they want to, guided by a universal, unwavering set of rules, similar to the laws of physics that make up the real world.
By default, Decentralized Autonomous Universes cannot be tampered with by an outside force, whether it be developers or hackers, and will always persist so long as players maintain an interest in the universe and the Chimaera blockchain remains propagated.
The Emergence of Modern, Virtual Society
With this framework, players involved in these massive worlds are pegged with the responsibility of shaping the world as they see fit. As all the resources and endeavors in the DAU maintain a real-world value, determined by the players who have real and transferable ownership of said assets, it is likely that players will prioritize pursuits to improve the efficiency and scale of their production and volume of their trade of the staple resources of the environment, which may include materials such as gold, oil, meat, or virtually anything one can imagine being useful inside of a game.
As is the case with the real world, it is likely that players will be most productive when they specialize their efforts towards a particular output and cooperate with others in trade. From here, the first communities will form. At the start, this may manifest in the form of nomadic mining guilds, trade outposts, and farming co-ops. As these groups grow in numbers and infrastructure, the first towns may begin to form.
This growth, similar to that of the real world, is inevitable, and will only persist and even accelerate. As the universe evolves, we will see the construction and growth of virtual metropolitans through the cooperation of laborers, architects, magnates, politicians, and everything in between. These metropolitans could potentially rival the density and economic activity of major cities through Earth.
With the infrastructure in place, cooperation will continue to urge the efforts of new initiatives. Diplomacy, invention, and exploration will become the primary objectives of individuals playing integral roles in their emerging civilizations. For the first time in the history of video games, gamers across the board will shift from asking themselves, “What can I do?” to pondering, “What can’t I do.”
However, as we know from the real world, many aspects of civilization and society do not favor the general welfare. Cooperation and creation cannot exist in the absence of competition and destruction. Other, similarly influential players may dedicate their virtual livelihoods to conquest, lobby, monopoly, or war. Through this unwavering balance of power of benevolent and malicious actors, complex virtual society can truly emerge. Groups will need to build a foundation for legislation and law enforcement, or alternatively, create a different solution in the absence of such ideals. Populations will grow independently of one another, with widely varying success, into new and unique modern societies.
Other Attempts at Complex Society
One of the video game environments closest to such an experience was a heavily modified Minecraft server called Civcraft. As the name suggests, CivCraft was created as a simulation of civilization, and everything associated with it: government, economy, war. Over three iterations and six years, hundreds of civilizations saw creation, prosperity, and ultimate destruction.
Given the tools for players to flourish, the results were incredible. A powerful conglomerate built massive factories throughout the world, and connected them with hundreds of miles of train tracks and roadways. A vicious group of skilled fighters nearly colonized the entire server over the course of several months, until remaining, previously independent nations drafted a treaty and fought back under a single flag. Mercenaries mapped player movements across the entire world to track criminals. More creative players took it upon themselves to traverse the entire server and create a map. More casual outlets of creativity included talk shows, traveling art galleries, and roleplay societies. Every group was different and societies spanned frameworks of feudalism, aristocracy, communism, democracy, anarchy, meritocracy, and dictatorship.
As wonderful as it was, Civcraft faced a number of issues. Primarily, no map persisted for more than two years, because hardware that hosted the server, while it was the best available for Minecraft servers, could not keep up with the impressions on the map made by players. Not only was accessibility limited to just 150 concurrent players, by the end of the iteration, most basic functions of gameplay were impossible. This, along with factors such as the burden on moderators, significant upkeep costs, and other issues, ultimately forced the experiment to come to a close.
Of course, none of these issues would persist in a similar environment hosted on the Chimaera network. Not only would the number of concurrent players be capable of expanding many magnitudes beyond the 150 maximum offered by Civcraft, but zero upkeep costs and automatic moderation by the network means that, so long as players are interested in the environment, it would never need to revert to a clean map or shutdown entirely. While the outcomes of Civcraft were one-of-a-kind, the size and scope of what took place are only a fraction of what could take place in a Decentralized Autonomous Universe, and the complexities of both environments simply do not compare.
The Future of Virtual Society
While the potential societies facilitated in a DAU can certainly grow to match the complexity and variety seen through the real world, the real potential of such a universe lies far beyond what is currently perceived in the world today. Similar to what was seen in Civcraft, one differentiation is the possibility for far more varied and diverse governments and infrastructures than what currently exists. Potentially, something catastrophic, such as world domination or nuclear fallout, could also take place.
As the universe evolves, civilizations could even expand to multiple planets. Since the inception of Star Wars, millions of people have fantasized about the possibility of an intergalactic future. This is completely possible in a Decentralized Autonomous Universe, and we could see the influence of galactic trade federations and empires. Conflict may expand beyond the scope of the current reality to foreign invasions and galactic warfare.
While all these possibilities are exciting and revolutionary, the real excitement behind Decentralized Autonomous Universes is the unknown. Virtual, modern society may manifest itself in a manner that cannot be perceived by within the scope of what is currently possible. Such a future may spawn cultural, political, and economic movements revolutionary to all of mankind.
For more information about Chimaera:
White Paper: https://chimaera.io/downloads/Chimaera_White_Paper.pdf
Bitcointalk Announcement: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1784048.0
Bounty Portal: https://bounties.chimaera.io/