So Just What Is


Well, that's a good question, and there is no very good way to answer it. Ackanomic is one of many "Nomic" games. The basic idea of Nomic is as follows: You begin with an initial rule set, which includes all the mundane matters. It's a fairly short document that doesn't take all that long to understand. However, included in this rule set is the description of how to go about changing the rules - adding new ones, repealing old ones, even modifying the rules that tell you how to modify rules. It is somewhat like making laws in real life; in Nomic you make proposals, vote on them, and if they pass, they become a rule or affect the current ruleset in other ways. Of course, to understand the specifics of this you need to read the current rule set. Ackanomic has been running since January 1996. It may seem to you that it isn't any fun to join a game after it has begun, but that is not the case.

In fact, most people who are currently playing the game joined months, and in some cases years after the game started. There are still some old hands around, but as the game and the rules change over time, being experienced in playing Ackanomic doesn't mean you're experienced with the current ruleset. On the contrary, sometimes it is the new players who make the best out of a situation that new Rules throw up. It's great fun to join in on - and I should know, as I joined the game back in October 1997. I've now been playing over a year and a half, but there are still people who have more than twice as much experience as me. That doesn't mean I'm at a disadvantage, just that they know more about the game's early history.

If you think that the current ruleset is complex, you're right. But if you think it's too complex, then you're wrong. The complexity is what gives Ackanomic its vitality. Not all rules are important to all people, and as people's aims and goals change over time, so does the portions of the Ruleset they are particularly interested in. You don't need to know the rules off by heart to join, after all, I doubt any current player could tell you all the rules. All you really need to know is that you make proposals to change the rules, and that you can vote (if you are an active player) on all proposals currently up for submission. Beyond that, how far you get involved is entirely your call. You can find a couple of subgames you like, and restrict your playing to those, or you can try to have a big impact on the ruleset as a whole, and maybe amass enough points to win a Cycle. The choice is always yours, and Acka is big enough to give everybody plenty of choices.

To quote Alfvaen, a former Registrar:

" I must admit that when I first had this game described to me, I thought it sounded tedious and boring. For some reason I decided to try it, and now I love the game. Not everyone shares my great enjoyment of the game. The beauty of Nomic is that you can join or quit whenever you like, and it really doesn't hurt the game. Therefore if you are curious, go ahead and sign up. You can always quit if you don't like it."

If you are curious to learn more about Nomic, read the information available on the web page. If you still have more questions, email rufus, the current Registrar. It is his job to answer your questions.

Check out more information about Nomic in general
Examine the Initial Rule Set we used for Ackanomic
Find out how to join Ackanomic
Return to the Ackanomic Home Page

 This page by Aaron Humphrey, and now Duncan Richer (aka Slakko),

Last updated: Saturday, April 24, 1999