Friday, March 21, 2008

Dreaming Cool Games


Last night I dreamed up an interesting idea for a videogame. I mean literally -- I had a very detailed dream about it, and woke up with a full recollection of the details. Sometimes my subconscious is juggling so much random stuff that it reassembles into something memorable. I call these "pizza nights." In any case, it can make for surprisingly fully-formed ideas.

So here's the game: It's designed for two teams of two players each...so it's a duo facing off against another duo. The object of the game is to fight a military/political conflict against the other side, while managing the global reaction to the conflict in "the court of public opinion." Each team has a "general" and a "propagandist" -- the general is concerned with waging the combat and trying to establish military victory, while their partner the propagandist is basically a roving movie camera who tries to capture footage of the action that paints their side in the most positive/heroic light (while trying to capture enemy atrocities and paint the opposing team as devils/jackals/terrorists.) You need success on both fronts to win the game; the idea is that in the modern age, decisive military action is meaningless without a well-handled propaganda effort.

Here's the cool part: the general can improve the chances of victory by playing "rough," i.e. deploying ghastly weapons, inflicting civilian losses, and even resorting to atrocities. But the enemy's propagandist is always trying to catch these images on camera to broadcast to a horrified global TV audience. The dynamic of the game is built on this interplay -- balancing the spectrum of available military tactics with the resulting media fallout.

This would be a game that rewards "destructive" and "constructive" approaches to gameplay -- on the very same team, in fact. The general can happily concentrate on obliterating whole neighborhoods if he wants, while the propagandist can merrily play a "muckraker out to expose the horrors of war" game at the very same time. At long last, a game that warmongers and pacifists can get on board with.

I still can't think of a name for it, though. Maybe that will come to me in my next dream.

10 comments:

rakiel said...

How 'bout you name it "HypocriWar" or "Stragegic Two-Facing".... the game that requires policymakers with fine tuned hypocrisy skills, windbags as anchormen and an ignorant, self-absorbed citizenry to win?

yeah - i like that......but i think that would immitate reality too much - no?

Daniel Morris said...

Maybe I'd call it "Pong 2" just to see if I could get away with the copyright infringement.

Sarah said...

1) this concept has fantastic balance/opposition
2) i love that the propagandist is "roving" ... subliminal word choice, much? =)
3) my name submission is 'semper insidia'

Ryan said...

How about calling it....Dan Morris is a P*ssy!

Daniel Morris said...

No, Ryan, that name is already trademarked. It was the first thing I thought of too.

Ryan said...

HAHAHA!! You know I'm just messin with ya Dan. How you been?

Rob said...

Haven't they already been playing this game in the Pentagon for the last five years?

I hear the "Abu Graib mini game" within it is a real hoot.

Brotherman said...

The propagandist is far more important than the general, at least in a free democratic society, where the masses are da-masses. The trick is less about making people feel good about the conflict and more about making sure they don't know WTF is going on. This would require more than two players. The propaganda has to seep deep to keep people pissing their pants, fearing things which are less likely to kill them than lightning or driving to work. While at the same time convincing the majority their acting strong and being tough and that asking questions could result in severe vaginitious (your friend Ryan seems well suited for this). Another propagandist might be in charge of pushing the American Dream ensuring the public always wants more from life, spending their entire lives scaping pennies together only to achieve mediocracy, keeping them to busy to get involved or even have an indepenent opinion about their own reality. Yet another player, perhaps the most important, needs to turn religion from a spirital way of life into a political tool. After all if I'm on God's side, or more to the point God's on my side, than WTF do I care if we nuke a bunch of heathens.
When everything comes together you have a population of ignorant, scared, poor, religious fanatics, who are sofa king retarded they'd believe they had foot long c#cks if told them so.

Matt said...

http://www.cracked.com/article_15660_ultimate-war-simulation-game.html

You want this.

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Susan

http://onlinemariogames.net