Some thoughts about games | We've had in the past single player games, multi-player games where you can effect your environment (MUDs), multi-player limited-interaction games (like Quake), and all kinds of game. What would be better if these could be linked together, a fractal game, so the opengame could be played on all the different levels.

There could be a shared map, that's no problem, which means we could have a common universe on a single scale. But to share scales..

If we had a common taxonomy of objects in the universe. Maybe this wouldn't be too hard, since internally we do seem to have limits of complexity between abstraction layers, and so humanity as a whole will have imposed layers on society rather than having a continuum of levels to play on (I talk about abstraction layers my concept-easy language notes). So we have an object hierarchy of playable units in the universe, or maybe several hierarchies designed by different people, different opengames.

As a quick example, a unit could be a city, and many cities could compose a country. A city is composed of units too, people and houses and businesses and all the rest.

For each unit an archetype has to be declared which would have: a number of properties, or attributes (like, wealth; happiness). It would have logical outlets, which is how it affects the layer above; and inlets where it can draw on levels below for its behaviour. And it has defaults. So you hook together all your archetypes.

A game slots in at any unit level and exports properties to the levels around it.

Now you can play your game at any level. Imagine playing Civilisation 2, and you snap down to a level like The Sims where you hunt around until you find a person who could potentially be a genius. You help them out, make sure they're on the correct career track, at which point your SimCity level game, if it has the right levels of industry to foster this intelligence, makes use of a chaos-theory outlet (small changes, big effects), or an emergent-property outlet, and suddenly your Civilisation 2 city invents pyramids, or weapons, and you win the game.

Or perhaps instead you have a distributed artificial life program running on your computer feeding off the spare processor cycles. The food supply and demand are exported by the game as market properties, and on another level your computer would exist as a planet in an interstellar trading game like Elite.

And it gets better. Imagine having an archetype for individual people. People, citizens, could play their game if they wanted to through digital tele say. The win state for this game would be the same as real life -- happiness, money, reproduction. There are various properties exported to the next level up, and so on, and so on, until we get to national government where the win state for the game is declared to be to maximise the number of wins at the citizen level. We might find that banning handguns, say, would achieve win state at government level even though nobody at the individual level would demand it.

[Alarmingly, I was also thinking about games, one year ago today. Loops within loops.]