Re:Boot is set in a former totalitarian dictatorship. None of us can understand how living in a place like this is like. Neither do we have the experience and knowledge of such a country’s culture, laws and regulations.
We won’t describe every detail of how everything was in this fictitious country, as it is neither the focus of the larp nor something we ask you to memorize. Instead, we trust your ability to role play, ask you to be generous to each other and use the “yes, and…” technique* if you’re talking about details in the State. It’s not a competition of who knows most. For the most part, you can base anything you want to embellish on a google result for ‘totalitarian dictatorship’.
However, in this post, we’ll add in some flavour and short facts about the State the way it was before the collapse, for those of you who like that sort of thing.
- We call the country the State. There is no need to come up with a name. You can also use Fatherland, Motherland and any other respectful patriotic name.
- The State is ruled by one person – Our Great Leader – whose autocracy is above all criticism. He is revered as a god-like figure.
- There is a government, but their power certainly doesn’t exceed the Great Leader’s.
- Elections are held, but it is also for appearances. The Party (and its head figure, Our Great Leader), always wins with 100% of the vote.
- The population lives under strict control, and has no freedom of expression, political freedom or civil liberties. The penalties for criticizing the system are mercilessly harsh, and can apply to entire families.
- After secondary school, at age 14, all young citizens are sent to so called sorting camps. Here, it is decided what use you are and what kind of job you should have. It is not possible to appeal the decision.
- There are huge differences between the population and the power elite. The class system is extremely divided between the poor and the ruling class.
- Media, including social media, is state controlled and fully monitored. There is no contact with the outside world. A strictly censored internet is available to only very few and special people.
- The State has been at war with the neighboring country for many years, and uses every opportunity to reflect this in propaganda. Everything that goes wrong is blamed on the Enemy. Huge resources are spent on the military.
- Crime is severely punished. The country often uses physical punishment, torture and the death penalty as a way to control its inhabitants.
- Sport is important. The State encourages staying in good physical shape. Arts, culture and entertainment are widespread and easily accessible to the population, but only what is approved by the State ministries is allowed. Very few impulses come from the outside, but when it is allowed, it is always popular.
* This means that when someone gives you a suggestion in a conversation, you add to it. Example “Do you remember the diplomas they gave us at sorting camp?” with a reply like “Yes, and I remember I was cold and hungry. Like now.” This technique also covers answering no. “Do you remember that time we killed that raider that attacked us?” “No, I think I was probably out searching for food.” The important thing is not to deny what other people have made up. Don’t say “There is no diploma ceremony at sorting camp” or “Don’t be daft, we haven’t been attacked by raiders.”