Divide et Impera
Divide Et Impera is a game where you interact with a connected group of diverse people initially in good relations between them; by using hate speech in various forms you try to bring about division and hostility, finally separating the group in factions. Through manipulation of a simulated small community , the gamer can be confronted with and made aware of actual mechanisms used to manipulate people in social media. Adolescents can learn this way to be more critical about the sources and content of information they find in social media.
Introduction to the game
You: A disingenuous political leader keen on using some good old hate speech to further your aims.
Your Goal: Splitting your community in half, by detaching at least 12 people from the interconnected grid of 5×5 people. Detached elements are grayed out.
Your Weapon: You have to choose hateful contents to post online and a specific target of 3×3 people for each post. Each person in the grid has different individual features: nationality, immigration status, sexuality, religious creed. By carefully choosing whose hatred you want to arouse against their neighbours, you can damage and destroy social relationships within your community.
Your Allies: You have to inspire confidence in your political vision by using every trick of the trade. Be your followers’ leader and virtual friend. Tell them about your holidays, your family, your spouse, your best selfies. Post jokes and tongue-in-cheek subliminal messages. If you turn someone into a follower or a fanatic their portrait will display a colored hat and a badge.
Your Results: After each post, you will be shown your best and worst results (thumb up and thumb down). Click on them to read your social-media analytics. You can also click on other user portraits to check how you did, how you affected their hatred, confidence and relationships in order to better plan your next social-media stunt.
The game has been designed and developed by Mauro Vanetti (independent game developer), and Pino Panzarella and Pietro Polsinelli from Open Lab, a small indie company creating applied and commercial games.
Game writer, designer and developer. Has 25 years of experience in software architecture and development. Works since 2012 on applied (a.k.a. educational) and commercial games.
Visual designer with a long experience in web and multimedia development for multi-platform user interfaces. Works on applied and commercial games as illustrator and UI artist.
Software developer, indie game creator and activist. Teaches Game Design and Game Production. Works mostly on non-game mobile and web applications.