Other factions at the station, such as the Port Authority, the former Havenage union, and the loosely regulated and overly trusting Hypha commune, are organizations as scattered as any business and just as capable of institutional neglect. Although Damian Martin has their politics, they are not interested in veiled agitprop.
“I never wanted to make a story about taking down a comically evil conglomerate. I wanted to tell a story on the periphery of capitalism, where so many of us have learned to live.”
Our precarious world
In many of their interviews about the depth of Citizen Sleeper, Damian Martin focuses on the concept of precarity, which inspired them to read Anna Tsing’s Mushroom at the End of the World, one of the many brilliant works of contemporary science fiction referenced in the game. is referenced.
“So many structures around us put pressure on our lives,” notes Damian Martin, “it’s up to us to be healthy, successful, and content. We’re all scrambling to achieve these things in competition with each other, fighting for jobs, opportunities, property, even social status.
“We justify this with the myth of meritocracy, which holds that the only thing that separates one from the comfort of success or the desperation of failure is arbitrarily judged as good at something arbitrarily valuable. That is an incredibly precarious method of validating our raison d’être with dignity.
If you look at the implications of stock markets, international politics, or the limitations that come with being an immigrant or other limited identity, you find even more uncertainty. Our world is full of systems that we can never control. We are surrounded by small, fragile walls,” explains Damian Martin, “when these walls succumb and break, we tumble into a nervous breakdown, bankruptcy, poverty, or even death.”
We feel these walls constantly in Citizen Sleeper. The game’s economic fears of being able to afford food are compounded by medical fears about where to find the serum to support our failing bodies, or how to afford the solutions that can lift us out of our perilous circumstances. When caught between so many predatory systems during crucial moments, rolling a low set of action dice can lead to cascading setbacks.
“The greatest defense against these unsympathetic systems, as I’ve found, is root mutualism,” concludes Damian Martin. “While we can’t decide the value of what we earn or the rights we earn, we can always try to stand up for each other when necessary. When the people around us roll with snake eyes. The intimacy of mutual support is essentially how everyone survives this world. From the very beginning, this was always going to be Citizen Sleeper’s arc, as it has been in many ways in my own life. I don’t think there are enough stories about people being trapped in these precarious spaces.”
Citizen Sleeper will continue with three free episodes of DLC, the first of which, titled “Flux,” tells the story of a refugee fleet that was locked out of Erlin’s Eye by quarantine measures.
“All I want to say now is that ‘Flux’ is shifting focus to issues surrounding refugees, bureaucracy and making room for compassion within democratic systems,” explains Damian Martin. “I hope players will find it interesting and follow the episodic story as it unfolds this year and next.”
This post The creator of ‘Citizen Sleeper’ was inspired by our modern dystopia
was original published at “https://www.wired.com/story/citizen-sleeper-modern-dystopia-gareth-damian-martin/”