(Steve here – one of our regulars, “Solarius Scorch,” aka Michal, and I talked about him doing a little writing for the Sanctum. He’s got a killer discussion here of magic and economics, and writes both fiction and fanfic. Get ready to see your worldbuilding a bit differently . . .)
“Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary, but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars, and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse.”
– Nwabudike Morgan, „The Ethics of Greed” [Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri]
As we know, humans (and human-like beings) are not rational in their decisions and actions. This irrationality means their choices are not always correct nor optimal, as defined by whatever measure we apply: wealth, happiness, reason or anything else. This is because we have various goals of different natures: we have material needs, emotional needs, preconceptions and simple desires, which often conflict with one another. Thus, people aren’t always rational… but they are always economical. (more…)
We’ve talked origins, ecologies, and sentient life in your settings We’ve discussed the culture that your intelligent life will have (again, if your story has intelligent life). Now it’s time to get to economics which, much like real life has a lot of impact, but isn’t something we often think of (or think of fondly).
My guess is that upon hearing that “it’s economics time”, you’re probably not filled with enthusiasm. If you are, great, but in general I find that, when he subject of world building and economics comes up, most people’s reactions are less than positive. Sometimes they’re pretty negative.
Most people’s reactions to anything involving economics is usually not positive, often a mix of regret, ignorance, and understandable rage. I could go on about the why of that for awhile, but that’s best for another time. Let’s go forward with the assumption that, in general, you need a bit of a boost and guidance on writing economics in your world.
If you do enjoy this (like me), then read on anyway just in case, and welcome to the club.
Now let me say off the bat that if you don’t get into the economics of world building that with the right perspective it’s interesting, informative, and even fun. I also would note that it can’t be avoided at all because, like real life, economics is everywhere. But I’ll focus on the fun part. (more…)