We tell the truth through fictional stories. We make people face reality through games.
“I kind of see this project in the tradition of Wolfgang Flatz, whose contribution to documenta ’79 was him standing in an empty room, naked and people who would manage to hit him with a dart would get 500€. People really did it and just after the fact realised what they had done.
It should be fun first but then turn to the hell it really is.”
1. The story.
The “Volkerwanderung: Festung Europa” is an elaborated strategy game. Main plot is: one side is trying to stop refugees/migrants from coming to Europe, the other side is trying to help them reach their destination.
Starting from the simplest version, where (alternatively, by user choice) AI is taking one of the sides, it will evolve towards full MMORPG, with a lot of in-game purchase options of various boosters, PvP player guilds/community building tools and scenarios, connected to real life news.
Apart from buying mission boosters for themselves, players will be able to buy changes in the game environment, shifting chances for their benefit (extremely expensive).
2. Social experiment.
All in-game purchases will be done as donations. Donations will primarily be used to develop and maintain the game. The surplus will be used as follows:
- Surplus money from “Pro-refugee” players (in-game purchases of boosters improving refugees’ chances to reach their destinations) will be transfered to grassroots initiatives helping refugees in the same way IRL (In Real World).
- Surplus money from “Anti-refugee” players will be transfered to small grassroots initiatives helping refugees and displaced persons in their countries of origin, or as close as possible.
All (anonymized) financial flows and stats will be publicly available, as well as game scores.
3. Game architecture.
Specific missions (stories) will be rooted in general framework, maintaining user/character continuity and game economy. The framework will be built on three pillars:
- Decentralised p2p filesystem, where each player will be also hosting and serving game files for their closest neighbors (see https://ipfs.io)
- Zero-knowledge blockchain ledger, maintaining personal data of all players and history of their characters.
- In-game cryptocoin, which will be used as a final (ICO) funding medium, game economy currency and the way to redistribute earnings between gamers who host and serve game files.
On top of game itself, the framework will also enable creation of secure distributed social network.
Specific missions will be playable without the framework, as a demo, but only through the framework player will be able to build their characters and accumulate in-game resources. Missions can be written independently, but access to the framework will depend not only on technical, but also ethical compatibility scrutiny.
4. Long-term project.
We believe that the term “refugee crisis” is deeply misleading. Instead, we see the situation as the early phase of a new Great Migration Period, which will probably extend as long as it takes for humanity to adapt to climate change effects.
It means that the gaming project, which is also a new social media initiative, is going to last several decades. That is why we do not plan to follow a startup scheme, with short-term exit strategy. Instead we want the project to grow organically, giving occupation and sustenance to its members for a very long — possibly life-long — time.
No individual will become rich from this venture, but hopefully at least couple dozen people will be able to live and work on it, free from pressure of the wage labour market.
5. The cooperative society
The publishing entity will be organised as a not-for-profit cooperative. The goal is to cover approved needs of the team members, to keep the game going and to generate surplus for redistribution.
The governance should be consensus-driven and the entity should operate in cooperation with groups related to refugee support.
As a part of grassroots and anticapitalist statement, the entity should become a part of FairCoop and use Faircoin as its reference currency (sort of “upstream” of the in-game currency).
Registered players, providing distributed hosting for the game and approved independent mission developers will have advisory voice and share in the proceedings of the cooperative. Eventually we hope to develop a way to make the whole venture community driven, including maximum possible number of people in the loop.
This project can be an important step towards new “walkaway economy”, educating people how to benefit from cooperation rather than competition.
6. Action Plan (approximated).
- Proof-of-concept online game (few first missions along the Balkan Trail) — first version being developed now (August 2017)
- Publicly available online game, as a teaser and proof of concept, with in-game donations purely for further game development.
- Seed money private fundraising campaign.
- More elaborated version, but still player vs AI, with some booster system. More missions with the beginning of the framework
- Public crowdfunding campaign.
- Online RPG PvP, 1-on-1
- Development of the framework and in-game coin.
- Initial Coin Offer for final framework development.
- Open call for missions development.
- Official launch.