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Octarinne

1984 / totalitarian social multi-player game

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Hello, I was thinking about the movie (book) 1984 and wondered if a good game would be possible from that concept. Suppose a multi-player game where when you join you are either with the party or with the "people". Players who are with the party must keep the players "in-line" and try to stop revolutionnaries before they can do damage to the party. Players who are "people" must find a way to destroy the party. Either by infiltration through promotion or by "removing" the ruling players. The party players would have cameras throughout the world from wich they would be able to check on people players. For example, if a player was not at some specified location on a certain time the party players would try to find him and question him. If all goes well, party players would eventually possibly get bored and try to stage a revolution or try to provoque a revolution to stop the participating people and get credit for it. But always remember that someone may be watching you... The players would also have boring lives in wich they would sit at a desk most of the day. They would have to find occasions to meet other players and try to stage a revolution without being found. But they would have to trust the people to wich they would talk to since other people might talk to authorities about the revolution and get credit for stopping it. The game would be a social game in wich paranoia would be the main effect on players. I think it could be a good concept but it probably needs refining. I would like to know what you think of this... BTW, I know 1984 is a copyrighted work, but the concept of a totalitarian society cannot be copyrighted so I think such a game would not infringe on 1984.

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It''s a good idea. The only problem I see is the fact that it lacks in keeping the players busy. I wouldn''t like to have to sit behind a desk all day just so I can meet some people for five minutes after work. Perhaps if the level of control over the people was lessened, both sides would enjoy more free time.

Like in the book, the "proles" are pretty much left to their own devices. Perhaps it could be the governments job to routinely patrol the "proles''" area, and if they find anything suspicious, take action.

For example, a government guard is walking down the street and notices a bunch of people gathered in a nearby alley. He can go in and start busting heads, ignore it, or inspect the disturbance in a more polite manner. If he chooses to be violent, this could lead to a small uprising of the people in that area against the government.

The government would have the advantage of superior weaponry and technology, and the people would be at a loss. If there was some way to limit the number of government characters, then the people would have the advantage of numbers.

Just some ideas...I really do like the concept.

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Well, the entire process won''t exactly be a short one. It would take time to get a major assault planned, and then there is always the risk of being found out and having the planned assault thwarted. In the highly unlikely event that either side manages to get complete control of things, then I guess a reset would be in order.

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Be careful with the 1984 parallels. The society Orwell portrayed was tragically flawed and doomed, but at it height it was invincible. If you have to use it as a model, set the game a few hundred years after the book, so things can destabilize. More along the lines of Ayn Rand''s "Anthem". That allows heroes, discoveries, and actual progress, while 1984 was just a few people thinking they could make a difference and finding out how puny and wrong they really were.

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I was referring to 1984 just as an example, it would have to be somewhat different. But you get the general idea. The game design would have to be worked out a lot more.

I just wanted to know if this type of game would interest people. Thanks.

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like the idea

a thought - remember that in 1984 the advantage of the government / party had almost nothing to do with superior weapons or technology (except data technology), but everything to do with access. It was all about the govenment always watching the big and little picture, and the people never being able to know anything real (they had no non-censored access to news, no safe way to communicate or organize, and no existing organization to get in contact with or verify new members).

See, in real life, gangs - the mob - etc, have an organization and friends in place in key areas, to feed them information about the state of affairs, to get them warning about things, and to investigate backgrounds, etc. So in effect, the government has no information advantage on the mico (individual) level, but on the macro level it has huge databases, better technology, organized chains of command, a huge budget ...

In 1984, the revolutionaries had nothing ... it would be like a hundred individual spies trying to acomplish something with no parent organization, just hundreds of people, totally alone in the world, seeing the problem, sure others see it as well, but never able to get real assurance that they aren''t the only sane person left, that everyone else isn''t just leading them on to trap them for personal gain (party favor).

a problem to be overcome - for any sociatal game with a point, there is always going to be trouble between 2 poles, given the players enough freedom and power to enjoy the game, getting the players to do what you want them to (classic dungeon master''s dilema - which has yet to be overcome on a computer).

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