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Occupy Hero

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Occupy Hero: A 99% Movement Game

Synopsis: Graphically styled to look like a single city-occupation, this game is actually a twitter interface that allows players to collectively decide which city-occupations are in need of help and to deploy that help. There are currently several hundred city-occupation specific twitter accounts, and incentivized players can manage the data faster than retweeting can.

Philosophy: The 99% movement is the opposite of escapism, but gaming has proven its ability to do active good by coordinating and motivating creativity. This game must be a tool to help city-occupations, spread awareness, and encourage participation without presenting itself as a way to occupy comfortably from home. There is no substitute for active presence.

The Style: Cartoonishly engaging, but not dismissable.

The Platform: Android application.

The Scene: A randomly generated “Occupation” based on the tendencies in actual cities. In front of city hall sometimes, in parks at others.

The Player: The game will include three password secured game accounts. Upon starting one, the “Hero” is customizable to quickly represent the diversity of the 99% movement using four sliders (skin-tone, curves, size, and hair). The player begins with a random shirt color. The password is necessary because registration allows players to include a twitter account and password, and payment information for quick action in support of specific city-occupations.

Other Characters:

1. Each twitter account for a city-occupation is represented graphically as an “Occupant,” randomly distributed using the four sliders, and frequently wearing Clothing Accessories (see Bonuses). They walk about, gather in groups, organize into marching lines, and occasionally sit or lie down.

2. Occupants with unread tweets have exclamation points over their heads.

3. Occupants with “Confirmed” issues are graphically represented as having them (i.e. Arrests or other police violence will be represented by NYPD Officer Anthony Bologna shoving the Occupant, Resource needs will be represented by an Occupant waving their hands frantically, and Miscellaneous needs will be represented by a rain cloud pouring on them).

Gameplay: The Occupation is four scrolling screens wide and two screens tall (approximately square). Movement is conducted by tapping the touch screen, causing the Hero and the camera to move to an Occupant and display their most recent Tweet. Players can then click another Occupant to continue moving, or select one of several options.

Interface:

1. Consistent: At the top of the screen is a Score Counter, a Menu button, and all gathered Bonuses. These can be clicked at any time.

2. When talking: Under the tweet appear the five hand signs commonly used for gaining consensus in General Assemblies across the movement: Waggle Up, Waggle Down, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, Point of Process (triangle). These translate into five in-game possibilities: Express Excitement, Express Concern, Call for SOLIDARITY, Call for ACTION, and Express Confusion.

3. When calling for ACTION or SOLIDARITY: Because this is an Android application, it is easily integrated with other communication features. Players who have included a (fully-secured) twitter account and password when they logged on can use this to deliver focused retweets. Specific city-occupations (validated) that choose to share their WePay or Paypal accounts will enable a “contribute” button, allowing players to give monetary donations ($3 will be made the easily accessed default). All city-occupations include the phone-number and email addresses for the local city hall so players can quickly call or email to demand redress.

a. ACTION: possibilities for action include retweeting, donation, calling a city's police or city council, sending email in support.

b. SOLIDARITY: possibilities for solidarity include emailing a reminder to oneself to suggest a tweeted action as a possibility for one's own city-occupation, retweeting, and donation.

Mechanics:

1. When any gesture is applied to a tweet, that Occupant will receive an invisible and temporary "gesture shadow" [GS]. The length of time the GS remains will be determined by the ratio of players currently playing to the number of Occupants represented. That is to say, if only 30 people are playing and 200 occupations are present, the GS might last for a full minute, whereas, if there were 300 active players and 200 occupations, it may only last 10 seconds (specific times to be determined in play testing). Points are awarded to players whose gestures correspond with growing consensus, 100 to the second confirming player, 200 to the third through fifth, 300 to the fourth through ninth, and 500 to the tenth. When ten players perform the same gesture to a specific tweet, it will be Confirmed, visually changing that Occupant so other Heroes can quickly gravitate toward him/her.

2. At the end of 20 minutes of play, or after 200 gestures have been performed. “General Assembly” is announced and all Occupants gather to announce what has happened. The player’s high score is displayed beside their saved game, and overall high scores are displayed on a leader board that appears at the app’s start up.

Bonuses: All Bonuses are based on the actual resources at (and needed at) city-occupations.

1. Coffee: Allows the Hero to move at double speed for two minutes of play.

2. Delicious Food: Helps the Hero focus. This is represented by causing surrounding Occupants whose situations are approaching Confirmation to flash for 10 seonds.

3. First Aid: Direct score bonus.

4. Markers/Poster Board: When a Hero has collected colored “Markers” they are able to type signs in those colors and display them for other players to see. Poster Board is collected separately.

5. Clothing Accessories: These are rare, and usually (though not only) awarded for phonecalls, donations, and other concrete aid. They are displayed both on the Hero in play, and on the data select screen.

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