July 11th will be remembered in history as the day The Party has launched Black The Fall on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One. There will be yearly parades with people cheering and walking synchronously. Some will dance and sing about the greatness of Black, the anti-hero. But until then…
The Party is reasonably happy to announce that BLACK THE FALL is coming to PC, PS4 & Xbox One on July 11th.
In less than 5 weeks, that is, you'll get a chance to manipulate Black, who'll manipulate other workers, who only know how to manipulate machines, to eventually, maybe, escape The System. If it sounds complicated, that's how it's supposed to be. This is a puzzle game and rebelling against oppressive political systems was never straight forward...
In the past decades surveillance evolved a lot, as both Orwell and Huxley have envisioned at the beginning of the century. Our safety used to lie in the hands of the local police officer, the personal guard, the handmaiden or the Communist neighbor, while today it’s in the hands of a modern Big Brother feeding on Big Data.
For our safety and comfort there are CCTVs, GPS tracking, Wi-fi, listening capabilities on mobile phones, laptops and even routers. Online behavior tracking is delivering us the ultimate personalized experience, but with every social media login it is also recording our every move in order for our profiles to be as accurate as possible for commercial use or political manipulation. That is for ads and news to be delivered in a way we’d buy without knowing we’re sold to – easily and willingly.
The only problem with (over)protection is that there’s a fine line between useful and abusive. We’d love to know that criminals can be tracked down by GPS or recorded phone conversations, recognized in CCTV footage and have their plans uncovered, before they even happen. And sometimes this actually happens, while other times surveillance is intentionally misused.
One of the key components of the Communist Oppression was the fabricated reality that was pushed forward as news in newspapers, on TV, on national radio, billboards and school handbooks.
On one hand, it was the leader himself who wanted to keep up appearances. One time Ceausescu had taken his hat off for a meeting with another country leader. In an official picture, this gesture would make him look like a weaker person, so he asked that his hat would be photoshopped back on before being published in the newspaper. And it’s not just the things he’d ask for, he’d just expect for his employees to anticipate his quirky needs and avoid putting him in a less than great picture. Smart, I know!
On the other hand, any activity the leader would have was announced. So the institutions would put forward the best rooms, most docile personnel dressed in Sunday clothes, they'd bring forward the best products (even if they were created especially for the occasion). Some say Ceausescu had no clue of what was really happening in the country because everyone kept on putting up a show for him.
Now this looks like a distant crazy past, in a distant Eastern country, but propaganda is a powerful tool that has shapeshifted into fake news, thanks to internet and social media. We used to rely on news to find out about the world we can’t reach for ourselves, and we trusted that. There were fewer outlets and the news distribution was somehow under control. But now, anything can be published anywhere and fake news are omnipresent.
But then again, anyone who lives a regular life doesn’t have the time to check any information. So pick your sources wisely, question everything and always keep in mind that for the truth you hold dear right now, there is someone, somewhere equally in love with their truth.
Never forget about the backfire effect and if this is your first encounter with this concept, here are some resources to on the matter:
What’s up, packing for the long weekend? Having International Working Day on a Monday is almost better than black ice cream… almost!
Today one can not not love a bank holiday, but back in the day in Communist Romania, there was a parade to perform perfectly in front of Ceausescu, after rehearsing for weeks for a pointless, propagandist, mandatory mass manifestation. Presence was mandatory and it was quite a pain in the arse, especially if you were a kid or athlete.
Labour Day was initially introduced to celebrate the protests for reduced working hours (from 12-14h, to 8h a day), which was a real issue for factory workers. On the other side, I guess office workers always had it better. I mean, we all know those who always sigh and complain of the amount of work they do, while compulsively scrolling and alt-tabbing. I mean, they are so good at it, that they teach others how it’s done. Can you imagine there’s a request for this?
Anyway, a quick thought on Romanian May Day: When getting ready for this long weekend of relaxation and fun, just take five seconds and think it could’ve been like this: