Hey, for the two gamers that read this blog, I have a question. Has there ever been a game where the world is quicksand bureaucracy and the goal of the gaming party is to get some on-the-surface-insignificant-but-actually-world-changing policy adopted? Somehow that sounds like fun, given a well-realized bureaucracy.
Does having a closet full of old Avalon Hill Games and playing Catan occasionally qualify me a one of the two? Probably not, as I can’t give an answer to your question.
Originally I wrote, “the two people that read this blog,” but I decided I was selling myself short. And among the five readers, it seemed likely two were gamers.
There are a lot of games about bureaucracies, but mostly about overcoming it to get something done (to the extent it’s about anything at all). Paranoia and The Laundry come to mind. Time & Temp, I think.
I’m a little surprised that Brazil hasn’t been made into an RPG.
I remember Paranoia! A game based on Kafka’s worst nightmare mixed with Brazil-style tech, but with style points for the participants. I was not good enough at improv to do well in that sort of game.
But in all the games I can think of, the bureaucracy is something to overcome, not something to use.
I think if I were to create such a game (I’m not going to), I’d call it ‘Cog’.
Or ‘Spanner’. Because Spanners do not live in vain.
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh maybe tropico? though that’s more about being a drug baron i think
Now I’m thinking of a story titled “The Quest to get Lunch Break Extended by Fifteen Minutes”, in which a rag-tag band of office drones team up to defeat the HR Policy binder.
There’s Min with her unparalleled skill at the passive-aggressive email, Jon with his wizardly ability to Baffle With PowerPoint, Paul who can find statistics to support any position, and either two or four others (the party must be an odd number).
It’s the inanimate nature of the foe that makes this interesting. They are actually fighting against a document. Of course there are many who defend the document, but the origin of the document is obscure. Perhaps it has traveled here from another world to prepare us for slavery. Perhaps it is like petrified wood, a mineralized realization of good intentions.
There will not be a “hacker” in the group, because those people as depicted don’t actually exist. But there might be Sal, who can tease a password out of anyone, given time.
In the end, lunch break is 75 minutes, and civilization falls.