I'm writing about an augmented reality simulation world mirroring ours. In this reality the criminal justice system is based on the results of a coin toss. If a robbery victim files a police report, the victem and accused are summoned before the NPC or bot judge. The process is brief and extremely fair; A coin toss with equal chance of a head or tail result is made. The loser faces capital punishment and pays with his/her life and must restart from their avatar's last save. How will behavior of the inhabitants be altered from that of our world? Assume that everyone, regardless of age, nationality, race and handicap sign up with an avatar no different from their real self.

P.S. excuse my English, feel free to tailor the grammar to your liking but don't change the topic! So would you prefer blue or the red pill?

  • $\begingroup$ worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice $\endgroup$ – a CVn Sep 17 '16 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael Kjorling: there must be a misunderstanding I'm pretty sure I didn't break any of the taboo, e.g. lethal means potent which may be interpreted as extremely sweet see aren't I adorable! $\endgroup$ – user6760 Sep 17 '16 at 7:46
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    $\begingroup$ As for why the downvote, what have you done yourself in terms of considering how a "justice system" like the one you describe might affect peoples' willingness to report crimes, and what that effect on their willingness to might do with the risk/benefit balance of committing crimes? If no explicit reason for a downvote is given, it is usually safe to assume that it is somehow for the canonical downvote reason: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Sep 17 '16 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ that isn't what a zero sum game... $\endgroup$ – Destructible Lemon Sep 17 '16 at 10:43
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    $\begingroup$ I am sorry but both as a concept and as an idea for a game, this seems completely nonsensical. Reporting a crime is not done just because. People do not report crimes just because it is some established dogma that after a crime you must go report it. Reporting a crime is done because people want justice. You instead say that there is no justice at all. There is only this weird "Hey, let's play a mini-game of chance where one of us needs to reload from some time back". And don't even get me started on false reports. What makes you think that in your AR game people would want this? $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Sep 18 '16 at 7:32

This is not a criminal justice system at all. It's a method for griefers to wreck your game. It works like this:

The griefer creates an avatar that he uses to play. He concentrates on finding out about other players and their progress in the game.

When he finds someone who is doing well, they become his target. He creates a new avatar, and uses it to accuse the target of a crime. There's a 50:50 chance the target is executed, and looses their progress in the game. If the griefer is executed, he creates another new avatar, and repeats the process. He keeps this up until the target is executed, and then resumes play with his main avatar, looking for a new target.

Yes, you said

assuming everyone regardless of age, nationality, race and handicap sign up with their unique avatar no different from their real self

However, this "criminal justice system" is just begging to be abused. It is so suitable for that purpose that your game will rapidly become unplayable, unless you can absolutely prevent people from having multiple avatars. Which you can't: real-world society lacks the mechanisms you'd need to make use of.

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    $\begingroup$ You can go even farther. Even if we have a Caprica-style game where each user is somehow limited to exactly one life in this game, you can still get friends and coworkers who don't play the game to grief in this manner. $\endgroup$ – MichaelS Sep 17 '16 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ Assuming that griefing was somehow prevented, this system also disincentivizes people from using it. If someone robs you, no one is going to stake their life against a 50% chance of "being correct" (no provision being made that you're, in legal terms, "made whole"). That's crazy pants. $\endgroup$ – Nathaniel Ford Sep 17 '16 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelS what's Caprica game? Any link, please? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 16 '19 at 21:30

It is necessary to clarify one point.

In game theory and economic theory, a zero-sum game is a mathematical representation of a situation in which each participant's gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s). If the total gains of the participants are added up and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero. Thus cutting a cake, where taking a larger piece reduces the amount of cake available for others, is a zero-sum game if all participants value each unit of cake equally (see marginal utility).

This is not a zero sum game world.

The augmented reality (AR) world as postulated creates a situation where any person accused of a crime has fifty-fifty chance of being executed. Admittedly they only go back to their last save.

This suggests living, even only as an avatar would be extremely fearful. Presumably any can anybody else of any crime and retribution follows automatically and axiomatically. This would be worst than many totalitarian regimes. Everyone in the AR world would live in fear, and be afraid of everyone else. Of course, they'd want to escape, so if there was a way to escape everyone would try to do it.

It seems remarkably doubtful anyone who knew what they were getting into in this AR world would do so on a voluntary basis. This could be an AR world designed to force people into compliance and obedience for a dictatorship.

However, it is likely to produce mass disobedience on a grand scale. Even the worst dictatorships maintain their authority by keeping enough law and order in a fair manner. This system is grossly disproportionate in its judicial rewards and punishments that even the most docile citizens would feel compelled to rebel.


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