KO: Killswitch Overdue

Day 4,006, 09:16 Published in Greece Cyprus by George The Mercifull

Well, I believe that one thousand more days of uptime is quite the mighty distance for a decrepit game to cover. Honestly, eRepublik is way past running on fumes. It’s virtually eating into its frame by chafing downhill in wailing screeches by now. Yes, it did prove doomsayers wrong on multiple occasions in the past. Yes, it did defy all odds and miraculously lived past its quadrimillennial anniversary. Nonetheless, I’m still not at all sure that expecting it can somehow survive that much longer follows from these admissions.

My guess is we will have seen eternal darkness delivering sweet oblivion long before that timestamp. What is more, I don’t think I’m the only one making this prediction. It’s a shared sense of dread crisscrossing all remaining communities at any level of organization, be it international (alliances), national (countries) or local (MUs and parties). Both those that have already crashingly accepted it and those temporarily fooling themselves they can force-will some semblance of fun back into their playing experience will eventually come to the same conclusion: no more.

This game felt alive thanks to user-generated content fleshing out the miserable bones that were its mechanics. But, at present, interactions of any kind are scattered and few between and even those are either staged, shallow or telegraphic. Without that content, there’s hardly anything around worth engaging with. The page on its own barely offers more than what is essentially a Minsky’s useless machine. As players are increasingly less keen on using the New World as a backdrop to act out narratives, immersion breaks apart and vitality goes missing.

Function, but no purpose

In this environment, a negative feedback loop is set in motion that gradually strips away all pretences to stick around. Reflexes turn numb. Ears turn deaf. Attention-span shrinks. Focus blurs out. Stares blink vacuously. Minds wander elsewhere. What’s left behind is dada. Not of the avant-garde variety though. Simply inevitable decoherence. I know eschatological harbingers are often disregarded and ridiculed. Yet the hand above the master lever is definitely growing weary and heavy laden. I can sense it twitch and tremble. And it will drop. Sooner than later.

This article is written as a submission to the Day 4000 Media Contest, Category 1: ‘Best Forecast for Next 1000 Days’ by the Plato Foundation