Not a real game! 1819 Singapore

Argh, I’m disappointed! Quinns did a fake review as part of an art exhibition, for a game which isn’t being made. But the game looks amazing!

As he (and the designers) elaborate on Reddit, Quinns thought it’d only be shown live at an exhibit so the internet wouldn’t get confused. The designers have had so many people asking them to actually make the game, they say they’ve set up a website to register interest.

(I think it’s subscribing to their mailing list here) :

More info here:

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It sounds like a Cole Werhle game (without the fantasy things).

As for the depressing disparity between the British against the Malays. That’s the reality of things once you realised what a massive game changer the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution are. And anyone who didn’t follow suit, will be left behind - sorely behind. I wouldn’t go anywhere near social darwinism, because I’m more into the belief that the cascade of progress was ignited by a fluke. Like, why did Magna Carta happened in England, not in France or the Holy Roman Empire (Germany) or China?

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They did specifically mention Pax Pamir 2nd as an inspiration, yeah.

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18XX players gonna be confused


[pillbox looks up from painstakingly building railroads to Singapore using soon-to-be-irate investors’ money] “Hmm, what now?”


There was a bit on QI about how China was held back because they were good at ceramics and not glassmaking. QI | Stephen's Powerful Monologue About Teacups - YouTube

There was also an episode of Nova that talked how while paper and block printing was invented in China, the fact that they didn’t have an alphabet held them back from reaping the benefits of movable type seen in the West. A to Z: How Writing Changed the World | NOVA | PBS

Now, how much of these stories still reflect Western biases, I’m not going to touch. See also Guns, Germs, and Steel.and the controversies about it. I’d like to hear more stories about how something in Asia and Africa was better or more advanced whereas the West was held back.


I was highly influenced by *Why Nations Fail" by Acemoglu and Robinson. I felt that there are missing bits there, but they seem to get it right mostly. They got it right that incentives and economic/political representation after the Bubonic Plague are the main cause of why Western Europe accelerated.

I would argue that this is not an obstacle to the Chinese. Hangul replaced the old Korean script that followed the Chinese style, and it was designed to be accessible to everyone. The Chinese script remained as such because the elites have an incentive to keep power to themselves. While in Western Europe, feudal lords have no option but to start paying their peasants wages after the Bubonic Plague, not out of the kindness of their hearts ofc.

If the Chinese wants everyone to know how to read, they’ll design one without fail.

Korean is the exception that proves the rule. They had to invent an alphabet, whereas the Latin (derived) alphabet was already in use across Europe. The program also talks about the difficulties of creating movable type for Arabic which made it difficult to spread their scientific knowledge (while failing to mention the religiously-motivated regression of same).

As ever, the answer to any question about history is “it’s complicated” (or “it’s never one thing/person/event”).

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I find it hard to believe that the longest running civilisation on Earth that first used the bank note would find it difficult to adapt to a new script even the right incentives, when the Europeans had no trouble ditching the Roman numerals and adopted the more convenient Hindu-Arabic numerals.

It’s just a question of timing and perspective.

China and India had a rough patch but they are back on track to be the world superpowers they have always been.

Love this. Through history hardly any social advances came without struggle.

I believe the Translator School of Toledo in the 1200s has a lot to do with this. Alphonse X could see how much the Muslim sphere was ahead in science/technology, and was quick to catch up. We owe them loads.

It would be very uncool if they did make a game for profit, based on an art piece “review” that SUSD only did on the understanding that it was for a limited audience who would understand the game doesn’t and won’t exist.

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