Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have written an interesting paper based on Black’s theories of conflict that postulates that we’re in a period where our dominant moral culture is being subsumed by a new one, after having subsumed itself a previous dominant culture.
The Atlantic’s Article about it which is rather shorter.
The three cultures they list are:
- Honor Culture: Conflict may prompt people to engage in a duel or physical fight. Largely, but not completely, already subsumed by:
- Dignity Culture: Conflict prescribe direct but non-violent actions. Currently being challenged by:
- Victimhood Culture: Feature conflict tactics in which the aggrieved actively seek the support of third parties as well as those that focus on oppression.
While I’m not entirely sold on the idea, I often explore models of the world by thinking about ways game mechanics can help me understand them — & I suspect many of you have similar processes.
I’d like to examine what mechanics play to which cultures so that we can come away with a concrete list of examples upon which to base new game models, should they be called for in a future where our dominant conflict culture changes substantially.