Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Omnicom Loves You (Shock)

Omnicom Loves You (Shock)

A former member
Post #: 1
Players: Jess (facilitator), Katherine, Mike

Issues: Digital Data Privacy (facebook ads on crack), Family, Individual identity

Shock: Society's accepted behavioral ad targeting to the point where corporations now suggest (reassign) you to jobs and locations at the age of 11 based on data collected through your childhood. The system has a >99.9% happiness rate. Though there are a few who go grid-less.

Praxes: Authority/Subterfuge, Passion/Reason

Tagonists:
Jack Kepler (Mike) - a senior VP at Omnicom, he falls in love with the wife of a man who is his behavior profile match; a non biological twin. His antagonist is John, his happily married twin. Jack slowly seduces John's wife, Jill, after taking John under his wing as a protege and keeping him at work for long hours. When John and Jill won't split, however, Jack uses his position at Omnicom to alter data such that he can kill John and get away with it and win his twin's wife (protagonist success). Jill sees the murder, however, and the two are shackled together til the end of their days, always looking over their shoulders (antagonist success).

Ellen (Katherine) - A hacker of the Enclave, dedicated to bringing down the Grid. She discovers an algorithm that would allow Omnicom to get their hooks into kids as young as 3 instead of 11. Her antagonist is a mole from Omnicom, Lucy. A tracer alerts Omnicom to the infiltration, and a raid is launched on Ellen's enclave. She's able to get the algorithm to an independent news outlet who publishes the story, causing a massive attrition of grid users (protagonist success). However, she realizes that she was self selecting to associate with people she was similar to the entire time; other activist hackers. Wasn't that the same as what Omnicom was doing? Her victory becomes hollow (antagonist success).

Alex (Jess) - A school teacher in a small town. His daughter puruses the job of her dreams, but it means never being near her dads again. Can he let go? His antagonist is his daughter, Anika. Alex and Anika exchange letters, but his growing obsession with staying close to her strains his marriage to his husband who issues an ultimatum: move on or move out. Alex relents, and a decade goes by before his obsession returns. Finally finding Anika on an Alaska oil rig, loving every aspect of her life, he drinks himself into a hole and attempts suicide, but fails in such a way that Anika is forced to care for him (protagonist success), little more a persistant vegetative state though he's still conscious. He sees the error of his selfish ways, however, eternally locked inside a shell that won't let him apologize for putting this burden on his daughter (antagonist success).

Analysis:
Fortunately through the power of "yes!", three neophytes successfully navigated a story game! I'd never played Shock, Katherine'd never played a story game, and Jess was admittedly shaky on the rules. However, she was an excellent facilitator and guided us through the character creation process like a pro. The total free form of the set up phase took us a little bit to get through. It's the same problem as staring at a blank canvas or a fresh sheet of paper: where do you even start? But once we got an idea of who our characters were and what was driving them, everything readily fell into place. Moving towards a conflict took a little bit of learning, but all three of us started going for the throat by round 3, which made for some grand story telling. We didn't get to use our Links, however, since we all forgot about that mechanic completely. So, in summary, our takeaways:
- A great story can come out of anything, so don't sweat the set up too much.
- Aim for conflict.
- Pull no punches with conflict.
- As an antagonist, the phrase "be careful what you wish for" can be a mantra.
A former member
Post #: 5
Nice write-up. I like that you provided game analysis.
A former member
Post #: 2
Nice write-up. I like that you provided game analysis.

Thanks!
Jess
cyndisision
Seattle, WA
Post #: 11
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What a great write-up! I really wish I'd been able to steer us toward risking some links, because that can be fun/painful (in the good way), but I forgot about them until too late. We were all rolling pretty decently anyway, and I think we all liked the bittersweetness of having both protagonist & antagonist succeed.

Thanks for being my Shock-facilitating guinea pigs :D
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