So, I have a friend by the name of Will Durant. I won’t lie. I will tell you right now that he is possibly one of the worst writers to ever take a breath. However, I just finished reading a volume in his Story of Civilization, “The Establishment of Civilization”. The main concepts of this are the “Elements of Civilization”, which are respectively: Economic, Political, Moral, Religious, and Mental.
The main question: Does Maple Story contain any civilized values/elements? Oh, and this might end up becoming pretty long, so sorry if I ruined your appetite for something short and sweet. Anyway, as you read, you will notice that ALL the elements relate to each other. I guess in the form of a tree.
Note: Durant does not say this (the things I quoted. I typed them out myself) directly but I quote him for his ideas, so LETS GET ON WITH IT. Oh, and please disregard my unsophisticated/un-esteemed vocabulary. Im sort of out of it right now.
Everything is based on economy or that’s how it is in reality. Our food, clothes, dogs, and most importantly, time. How about the game? The game revolves around the same concept. The most important thing is that economy is nothing without surplus. However, surplus is nothing without provision (and merchants should know this best).
Men: Hunted. Did more dangerous tasks.
Women: Discovered the use of soil which ultimately means surplus food.”
Yes, very primitive, but how does this apply to the game? Obviously, the division of tasks are not based on sex anymore. However, you must be able to conceive the relation. There are people in the game who HUNT for their items, even if they have to kill more menacing monsters. There are others who completely MAKE everything they have, or they make things to TRADE (ex. Work Glove merchants).
There are benefits. It’s called Economic Organization.
Slavery: Forced Work (doesn’t really apply unless all your friends are Sadists)
Socially weak: More work.
Socially strong: Less work/supervision.”
What does that mean? Yes, there’s a hierarchy involved. Socially weak? Mainly first-timers. They’re independent and they have no experience. That is why it will require more work for them to be successful. Socially strong? This isn’t based on fame per se, but also on an individual’s consciousness of his/her money. I can’t really denote something for you but I can give you an example: Free Market Guilds. In many ways, they are socially superior to most, seeing as how they control many parts of the Free Market (it’s called a Free Market for a reason…). I don’t want to get too in depth, so I want to apologize for my superficial comparisons.
Though Maple Story doesnt have a concrete sense of government, there are many factors of politics involved. The essence of politics comes from power, which ultimately derives from the family. In the game a family can be a guild or a group of close friends. Though, not so insane back then, guilds run many of the games features now. Ex. Zakum Helmet runs are mostly controlled by guilds.
The family is the root of the clan and government because they provide support to form them.”
As for power, I wont really need to explain it too much. Im pretty sure I summed up most of it in one of my previous blogs. Anyway, power is status. It may not just be damage, but it may result from being socially inclined
Another element within politics is the act of creating laws. Though, this doesnt seem to function correctly on the game, there are still laws in which we still must abide by.
The state is a result of conquest.”
The people who were accustomed to hunting and danger such as the hunters and herders dominated the land. The farmers were conquered.”
Pretty much it means, if you can hit enough damage, or at least higher than someone else, the land is yours. I hate it. We all hate it. Its power.
There are three types of Morals: Marriage, Sexual, and Social.
Marriage:This doesnt apply to the game much outside of the fact that there is a marriage feature. However, that feature does not follow the moral foundation of marriage at all.
Sexual: You cant have sex in the game nor can you show any sign of physical intimacy. Is that enough?
Social: This branch of Morals is the one that usually pops up when we hear morals. The key points are: greed, dishonesty, and violence.
Oh man. ALL of those apply to the game.
Greed came from people who would keep on eating because they did not know when it would be next time theyd have a chance to eat.
Lying and stealing became more common as man became more civilized because there were more things to be stolen.
Violence was cruelty associate with war (conquest). The primitive life taught man they must be ready to kill.”
In a way, were all greedy (at least in the game). We always want more of something whether we play to level or play to whore. We always lie about everything. Kids that play the game lie about their real lives. Why? They want power. The only way for kids to achieve it is to lie and deceit. Violence may come from intellectually deteriorated players who think that violence solves everything. They will steal your maps and exploit your weakness (as I have state on a previous blog as well).
The socialization of the individual:
-Struggle for life leads to communalism.
-Struggle for property leads to individualism.”
Independence. Everyone hopes to be independent, but there are always struggles keeping them away.
To sum it up, morals are the basis of customs (religions) which are in turn the basis of laws which make up government, creating an economy, resulting in a flourishing civilization
Religion doesnt pertain to the game much and is also very opinionated. Therefore, I will not talk about it.
The Mental elements contain: Language, science, and art. The latter two will not be talked about because their implications only apply to more mature players, of whom which make up little of the population.
The most important part of the Mental element is communication.
Man started out using a series of grunts, after watching animals communicate. Eventually, they evolved into speakers.”
As modern-day people, we take advantage of communication. Communication is the most important aspect of civilization because it forms language, which is used for education.
Education was used to pass down knowledge and experience in an understandable way from one generation to the next.”
As players, we pass down things unconsciously to newer generations of players. Whether its where you go buy a new weapon or how many tickets you need to pass a stage of a party quest, we are always educating someone through education.
As for mentality as a whole, its in a stage of naught. Many players bestow their idiocy to everyone else, which ultimately gives everyone the thought, If he can be stupid, so can I.
In conclusion, I think its apparent that Maple Story is a civilization of its own. Though, its far from being fully-developed (which of course will never happen), it just takes a little analytical concern to see that, there are innumerable things that allows our world to function in reality that applies in the game.