The question that Sindi Breshani asked herself and from which the creation of the Propaganda game started was: "How do you know that what you know is real? It is a question that arises from her deep concern for the world around her during her childhood in her native Albania.
Memories of the dictatorship or the building of bunkers for a fictitious enemy who never arrived, always haunted her. Over the years, Breshani became aware of the existence of contradictory stories, of different versions of what she considered a single reality. This perspective made her reconsider the power of stories in shaping personal interactions and not just the power of states. Breshani's thesis is that the story is written from a single perspective.
Initially, Propaganda was a board game created in 2017 as an end-of-degree project at the University of London by Breshani. After playing it in various workshops, Propaganda has just been nominated in several categories at IndieCade, the California Independent Games Festival. After these experiences, Breshani is working on a redesign that will be the one that comes to the Kickstarter campaign that he has planned for 2021 to commercialize the game.
When he began working on it in 2017, it was a time when the mechanisms of the so-called post-truth were emerging, following Trump's first election campaign and that of Brexit, which also influenced the development of the game. Propaganda reveals the contemporary methods of control and manipulation that structure what we accept as reality. This game ultimately suggests that a story is not the only story, but a story that happened to win the propaganda game. By taking current events in the perspective of a propagandist, players establish loyalties and target audiences in order to build a power capable of producing and silencing truths, and increase the number of followers, which will make their perspective win. In addition to strategic decisions, players encounter moments of luck and bad luck drawn from the mechanisms of post-truth, such as hashtags that become trending topics, conspiracy theories and data protection laws.
Breshani is an experienced information designer interested in artistic processes that intersect games with documentary filmmaking. She is the creator of a VR docugame called Diktadura, a fictional game based on experiences during the dictatorship in Albania, and the docugame Race for the Arctic, with climate change as the background scenario and the consequent melting of the Arctic. She is also the author of The Village, a project for the V&A Museum of Childhood that uses RV to create a meeting place for old and new children's games, for which she populates dollhouses with characters and stories in a process that has involved the participation of the children themselves.
A simulation of the game can be played.
The Festival will have a private encounter using the Hackcamp format for a total of 30 people as well as a series of public conferences.