Saturday, March 26, 2016

Destiny Scrims and Emergent Order

This post won't be too family oriented, sorry.

As many (all?) Destiny players know, there is currently no option for custom games. No way for you and five of your friends to get together and play on two teams of three against each other. Players have been asking for this since the game came out.

Then some creative players figured out how to game the matchmaking system. They figured out that if you had two people close to each other geographically, they could trick the matchmaking system into assigning the two groups to each other. A very convoluted way to create custom games. Along with this, some other person or group came up with a set of rules that go along with playing the game this way -- referred to as "sweats" or "scrims." Sweats/scrims became a code word for: (1) hey, do you want to play with 5 other people by (2) using this method of tricking the matchmaking system to (3) play within these agreed upon sets of rules that really don't get mentioned in the game, you're expected to know them. I first heard about all this with a Crucible Radio podcast on scrims. You can find that here.

Wow. All that to overcome the lack of a custom game option.

So how does that come about? The answer is emergent order. When people want something that isn't being given to them, they will find a way to do it. If we want to get into the economics of it, the cost has to be low enough to merit it. If scrims requried someone buying $500 of hardware just to play, I doubt emergent order would have created it. If it only requires 5 minutes of matchmaking and understanding the agreed-upon rules, the "cost" is small (the time needed to listeni to the CR podcast, for instance). For more on emergent order check out this video from the creator of the Keynes vs. Hayek videos:

I also highly suggest EconTalk podcast if you're into that sort of thing.

How might this apply to a more orthodox economic setting? I've recently seen headlines about toilet paper and condoms being unavailable in Venezuela (I've seen this headline several times since Chavez took over). Does that mean people can't buy toilet paper and condoms? I guarantee you they are. They just aren't finding them in the official stores. Their unavailability has allowed emergent order to creep in and create a black market for these goods.

Thanks for getting this far through a non-family post about Destiny that was probably boring for you. As a reward, Fear the Boom and Bust. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment