It’s 2016 and I’ve been commissioned to create a new game. Money is no object. It has to be lifelike and it has to be easy to use by anyone and everyone. My clients insist on retaining their anonymity. The game is simple but must contain three key elements:
The ability to control all money. The money supply. How and where it is spent. What value it holds. Where it is held and what form it takes. It’s just numbers on a screen. Money comes in and money goes out. Once in awhile, there’s a random game levy to pay. Sometimes it goes wrong, there’s a mistake, money disappears and then as if by magic, it returns again. Your ultimate value to society is defined by the array of numbers flickering at you. Everything is connected to everything else in the game. It’s just a game, right? It can just be digital money. There’s no need for real cash anymore. Money isn’t real in the game.
Who is in the game? There are the Players and there are the People.
The Players are playing the game. The Players make the decisions. The Players set the boundaries and the Players make the rules. They control everything that happens. Whatever is at stake amongst the Players, it’s a winner takes all kind of game. The Players can see the People but only a handful of People ever get to see the parts of the game that the Players use to disrupt the game.
The People don’t know they’re in a game. The People are just pieces at play in the game itself. They do life as though they are free to do what they want. They live amongst each other. They form social groups, alliances, allegiances and societies. They are allowed to form societies that have both leaders and low-lives. These parameters have been set up for them. They can buy things, sell things, communicate with each other, build families and earn money. It’s not real money, it’s just numbers on a screen. They call it currency but in reality its a simple medium of exchange.
A place of infinite wonder. Created by a simple vision that took many years to evolve into the Game World it is now. Perfecting itself over and over as the developer imagined new and wonderful vistas. It appeared to be a soft and gentle place. There were, however, some hidden dangers amongst the hills and valleys. Communities bordered the wide open spaces. It was amongst these communities where the most danger lay. The longer the game went on, the more dangerous Game World became.
The Players each held Game World disruptors that they could play at any time. War, famine, disease, greed, hatred, poverty, fires, flood…there were many disruptors that the Players could introduce as in game plays. They just had to pick one of the most powerful people, one of the most influential and connected people, the person that they thought would channel the disruptor to achieve its greatest impact for the Player. The disruptor affects every part of the game. Players could only use their disruptors once in every session of Game World.
What if it’s 2019 and I’m already just one of the people in the Game World session…?