Why Haven't They Made This?

Why Haven't They Made This?
Capitalism is teh suxx0r!!111!

Mark Wallace | 4 Oct 2005 12:05
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July 3
My beta invite has finally arrived! I get the email while I'm at work, but of course I can't download the client there, not with my boss and the compliance department sniffing down my neck 24/7. Okay, so a couple of my trades in the oil market didn't go quite as planned last week - even though I had it on very good authority that Exxon/Mobil was about to announce a big find. Still, that's no reason to "remind" me about insider-trading statutes. Anyway, that's hardly a concern today. All I can think about is getting home and firing up my beta account on Chief Economist. I still can't decide what class I'll pick. Free-Market Capitalist? Banana-Republic Socialist? Ideological Communist? (According to the forum traffic, Developing Nation isn't very fleshed out yet, so I'll probably pass on that one. Although, the prospect of aid from the Virtual World Bank is tempting.) Maybe I'll go for the custom character creation and let my currency float while I carefully tweak my trade barriers. So many possibilities.

July 21
Well, I rolled a country on the Volcker server (how do they come up with these names, anyway?), but it hasn't done very well so far. I went with Benign Socialism, figuring a little free health care wouldn't hurt my citizens' productivity, but so far all I've had are problems with my labor markets. There aren't too many people on our server at the moment, so I've already been able to form a Common Market with a couple of my neighbors. But my consumers still don't want to buy foreign goods, and my producers are threatening a slowdown unless I institute tariffs. I think there must be some balancing issues the devs have yet to work out. But that's beta. As "first-person technocrat" games go, though, I'm not sure if Chief Economist is going to be much of a success. I've been playing these things ever since Emerging Markets Meltdown: Brady Bond Buyback, and that was more than ten years ago. I've definitely seen better. The typical FPT wouldn't make me worry about civil rights and gender equality. Ah well, the price of realism.

August 15
I think I'm getting the hang of this now. The second round of beta invites has gone out and the noobs have started to flock to Volcker. Socialism has its advantages. A Free-Market Capitalist on his first day in the game tried to flood my airwaves with cultural exports, but my people were having none of it. They clamored for a domestic production requirement on movies and TV shows and I gave it to them. Now even the capitalists can't get enough of whatever tripe it is my people are producing. (I wish the UI let you zoom in far enough to check out some actual products, but I guess there's a limit to the technology.) Well, as long as they're happy little worker bees, I don't much care.

My new problem, though, is inflation. I'm keeping the money supply in line with population growth, but the little CPI readout just keeps on climbing. Maybe it's all the foreign investment I'm attracting.

Should I limit foreign ownership to 40 percent? Implement controls on repatriation of profits? I requested an Economic Assessment from the Virtual World Bank, but I haven't heard anything yet. They're probably too busy dealing with the poor sods who rolled Developing Nation characters. Good thing, too; I don't want their cheap labor putting my people out of jobs.

September 19
"Known issue," my ass! I finally got sick of the DevNat guy on my western border pirating the DVDs that have become my nation's biggest export. I didn't know what to do about it at first, but then I found a clause in the International Covenants (I hate having to click "agree" on that thing each time I log on) that lets a player seek economic control of another country for humanitarian reasons. And sure enough, this guy's population was starving. Invasion on! My army wasn't much, but it was more than he could muster. But when I sent in the troops, they just camped out in enemy territory and refused to fight. Some of them even defected! This has to be a bug. I petitioned the League of Virtual Nations, and was given the typical answer: "The behavior you describe is a known issue. An independent investigator has been appointed to look into possible diplomatic solutions." This had better get fixed by the time the game goes live or I am outta here. I didn't realize it when I signed up, but I am itching for the Economy vs. Economy (EvE) aspect of this game.

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