The 2084 Protocol

The 2084 Protocol is a social deduction game inspired by BBC R+D’s ‘Living Room of the Future’; based on the idea of a future in which all the smart devices in your living room are networked, collecting and storing your data. The game is a 40-60 minute, five-player experience set in a responsive, physical living room space . The experience blends a scripted structure with improvised player discussion, clue-finding and voting rounds via each players’ smartphones, as they deduce who is and isn’t trustworthy between them. The premise of the game is as follows:

You are one of five people who live in the same house. When you moved in, you found a vase in your attic which is worth £5000. You agreed to sell it at an auction in two months time and split the profit. Last night the vase went missing - one of you is responsible for this disappearance and is hiding it.

Martin, your artificial intelligence (AI) personal assistant, has been recruited to enact ‘The 2084 Protocol’ to get to the bottom of this disappearance. The smart objects in your living room store data regarding each player’s movements and actions in the last 48 hours - each player can release this information in the form of audio clues by scanning these objects with their phone, creating personalised clue logs.

Who and what will you trust?

Participants playing The 2084 Protocol. The red lights indicate a serious moment is happening.

To encourage the conversation between players, every player has a secret they are trying to find out from another player, and a secret they are trying to hide. This gives everyone the freedom to improvise, deceive, and play the game as they choose.

As the experience progresses, more personal information on the characters whereabouts and activities are revealed by the AI as a result of the players voting for who they think is untrustworthy at the time. Players are given an insight into how connected technology could be used and the kind of data it might be able to collect about them. Through this playful game, players are able to consider the ethics and impact of this potential scenario, the connected technology and the data it collects.

The game is currently in a prototype stage in which, to date, over 60 players have participated. While the scripted elements of the narrative remain consistent, every game played is different as group dynamics vary. The game is designed for groups of adults, to be played as a social activity similar to a board game or murder mystery.

The 2084 Protocol is being developed with Anya Tye and Joshua Pawlowski The prototype experience was made based on the Living Room of the Future brief from BBC R+D and with help from Maro Onokpise.

If you'd like The 2084 Protocol to come to a place near you, get in touch!

Kassie Headon 2019

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