@ctiv8: Occupy Wall Street

I wrote @ctiv8 in 2005, two years after Anonymous first hit the scene and inspired, in part, by Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency. Where he had it centred around a leader in the form of the organisational knowledge, personal loyalty and dominance of Miranda Zero I wanted to take a more anarchistic slant which, it seems, is what’s tended happen in the real world. Ad hoc groups coming together on particular issues and the use of social media and secure lines of communication to fuel revolts, direct action, alleviate poverty, raise money for causes and so on.

It’s been weird to see so many of the themes and ideas I was playing with come about in real life.

The latest thing that’s triggering these sorts of thoughts is Occupy Wall Street, this is a case study in new media, the ineffectiveness of old forms of protest, the possibilities of new forms, the interplay of stereotype, miss-step, watching the watchmen and so much else. A great case-in-point example of many of these points is found HERE.

This is a perfect set up for an @ctiv8 cell to get involved in. There’s just so many aspects to this where they could make a difference.

The mainstream media paid no real attention until the police were caught on video being heavy handed.

  • Set up some fake police brutality against someone who doesn’t look like a ‘smelly hippy’ and make sure it’s caught on camera.
  • Set up citizen-media resources. The internet and other alternatives are the only way to get on-message info out there.
Should this become a full on confrontation with violence on the part of the protesters it’s likely that public sympathy will rapidly vanish.
  • Make sure that police agitators aren’t amongst the protesters and that, if they are, they’re known and identified.
  • Rein in/delay or stop the black bloc and others who are most likely to kick off.
Turning police tactics against them or finding ways to get leverage – especially over the blue-collar police, may well have a good effect in turning public sympathy and making the protest more effective.
  • Find ‘hooks’ into the working police. Budget cut and layoff documents might help, even if they have to be faked up but look convincing. Blackmail may also be effective against some, especially dirty cops who may well be known on the street and thus can be manipulated.
  • Set your own infiltrators amongst the police to pass intelligence back to the protesters and to instigate events that will make the security forces look bad.
If you want to get involved ‘IRL’ you can donate to this project, or head down to Occupy Wall Street (or one of its mirror protests) yourself. Ordinary people need to get down there if any sort of genuine difference is to be made. I donated what I could and… well, I wrote this. I make games that – hopefully – make people think. That’s what I can do.
Last time I posted something like this, I believe it was about the Royal Wedding and I apparently rubbed a few people up the wrong way. Some people even think that it’s somehow inappropriate for a games writer to put their own religious, philosophical or political slant into their games. You’re free to disagree with me, even to use @ctiv8 to run games based around your own activist tendencies, whatever side of politics you’re on. Just don’t try to tell me that I can’t write about the things that engage and interest me.

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