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  • Neurocracy: Using Wikipedia As A Narrative Device

    [08.27.20]
    - Joannes Truyens

  • An added bonus of pop-ups-as-teasers is that the distinction between clickable hyperlinks and non-clickable pop-ups no longer overtly signals what matters and what is inconsequential to the story of Neurocracy. There's also the potential for subplots playing out in their own articles and building over time.

    Additionally, once the main story of Neurocracy has concluded, further articles from guest writers can be released in a manner similar to downloadable content, with pop-ups added and expanded to full articles that tell new stories in the world of 2049 (akin to an anthology series or an expanded universe).

    Of course, this format for interactivity is only as strong as the world and story explored through that format. Neurocracy posits a near future where a pandemic of a fictional infection known as Cariappa-Muren disease has intersected three current and developing trends: surveillance capitalism, biosecurity, and consumer-grade neurotechnology. This future was conceived and written before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic started accelerating that intersection for the first two trends, so the world of Neurocracy now jumps off from two pandemics instead of one.

    The hook for diving into the world of 2049 is a murder mystery, an assassination of an important public figure that players need to solve. Reading the Omnipedia article of the assassination victim offers plenty of reasons why someone might want them dead, and each one is an avenue of investigation into the world of 2049.

    The Wikipedia format acts as an omniscient narrator and aids in demonstrating the interconnected political, social, cultural, technological, and economic aspects of what has happened, and what is happening, in Neurocracy. That's why each Omnipedia article exists as a link in a chain, containing hyperlinks both to and from at least one other article and making it impossible to land on an article without a way forward or back.

    Early playtests have indicated that Neurocracy manages to deliver the possibility space as outlined in this blog post, with players diving into Omnipedia, coming together to debate theories, and eagerly looking forward to more articles being released. If you're interested in taking part, please do join the Neurocracy Discord server!

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