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The Panopticon Wonder Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by pineappledan, May 1, 2018.

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Do you like the idea of the Panopticon being in VP?

  1. It's a great idea

    20 vote(s)
    25.3%
  2. It's fine

    9 vote(s)
    11.4%
  3. I don't care

    9 vote(s)
    11.4%
  4. I don't like it; I think the CV wonder should be something else

    29 vote(s)
    36.7%
  5. I don't like it; I think CV shouldn't even have a wonder

    12 vote(s)
    15.2%
  1. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    The most recent patch uptade for VP introduces a new wonder: the Panopticon. This thread is for discussing the virtues, implications, reasoning and merits of having the Panopticon as a wonder in VP.

    What does the Panopticon do in game?
    Spoiler :
    The Panopticon, on completion, triggers a cultural victory for whichever civilization built it. The wonder requires influential status with all civilizations in game as a prerequisite before it can be built.

    What was/is the Panopticon?
    Spoiler :
    The Panopticon was originally a design for a prison, concocted by Jeremy Bentham, an important utilitarian philosopher. The idea for the design is that prisoners were to be visible to a guard at all times, while the guards were invisible to the prisoners. It was theorized that Inmates would moderate their behaviour in case they were under surveillance, but were constantly unsure if they were actually being watched.

    Since its inception, the idea of the Panopticon has been revived and developed as a theory of how governments and institutions create and enforce social control. This new theory, called Panopticism by Michel Foucault, posits that the ideas of mass surveillance can be applied to a modern societal setting as a means of modifying behaviour in a wider, non-incarcerated population. Fears and speculation on the power of such ideas has been the basis of many modern cultural works, such as 1984, No Exit, and any modern film in which Edward Snowden is a character.

    Possible issues with the existence of the Panopticon as a world wonder:
    Spoiler :

    • Panopticism, at its core, is a dehumanizing, cynical, and pessimistic view of human nature. This is at odds with the ethos of Civilization as a franchise, which I would consider humanistic, optimistic and universal. Civilization often fails to live up to these high-minded goals, but this wonder feels incredibly mean-spirited.
    • Having the Panopticon as the wonder which closes out a cultural victory implies that a mass surveillance state is the "end-point" for humanity's cultural and philosophical achievements. If VP is trying to make a statement with this then it is a thoroughly misanthropic one.
    • The Inclusion of a tool of mass surveillance already exists within the game: The Great Firewall. This wonder actually delays a cultural victory, protecting whoever built it from external cultural influence. Having both wonders in the game, and having them do the opposite thing seems at odds.
    • For people who like to roleplay in civ, is having a tool of mass subjugation as a victory condition something that people want? Would people who want to play as some sort of 'good' empire be unable to achieve cultural victory on moral grounds? To put it another way, if I have invested myself in playing a "nice" civ, then can I build this wonder? It was okay when I could just skip the Great Firewall, but now I HAVE to build this if I am going for a CV.
    • The Panopticon just kinda sucks, as a concept. It's like making Auschwitz a world wonder. We don't do that because Auschwitz Sucks; it's a distinctly non-cool thing from a non-cool part of human history. Like, this kinda makes us sound like a bunch of edgelords, doesn't it?

    Possible Changes to the Panopticon
    Spoiler :

    1. Don't have a cultural victory wonder. G has made a case for why there should be one, but perhaps after some playtesting we can revisit whether or not this wonder even needs to exist.
    2. Change the Panopticon to something else. Something that is cultural, global, but more optimistic/less dystopian. Maybe just bring back the Utopian Project wonder from Vanilla.
    3. @Erik_TheRed had a marvelous suggestion for 3 different cultural wonders which typify the ethos of each ideology. 3 Mechanically identical wonders, one of which could be a panopticon, but then civs wouldn't have to build something so monstrous

    So let's have a discussion about this change. I think this is one of the strangest moral/philosophical conundrums I have seen w.r.t. this mod, so I'd love to hear other people's opinions.

    EDIT: Here's are 3 polls for what kind of wonder you would want to have as a culture victory for each of the 3 ideologies
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  2. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Possible alternative wonder to the Panopticon: The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    I'm not even joking. The MCU is a global phenomenon that has made more money and had more cultural impact than any project in recent world history. It is inclusive, relatively free of nationalistic ideals, has had many hands from many cultural and ideological backgrounds work on it. It is as close to a celebration/exploration of ideals of heroism/morality that we have come up with as a global community so far.

    People have been joking that the US won a cultural victory IRL back in the 60s, so it's not nearly as much of a stretch as one would think.
     
    Zarggg, phantomaxl1207 and Infixo like this.
  3. Erik_TheRed

    Erik_TheRed Chieftain

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    What if there was a unique CV wonder for each ideology? I think Panopticon would suit "order" better. Maybe they could even have slightly different tech requirements/parameters/effects (while building).

    Edit -- Also, I think the CV wonder(s) should be more abstract or near-future concepts. I.e. centralised AI "pre-crime" system instead of Panopticon.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    Zarggg, CppMaster, Tantro and 4 others like this.
  4. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Panopticon sounds about right with the essence of a culture victory. You're literally subverting nations through the most indirect method available and towards the end even warmongers get their tourism options.
    How are you gonna conquer the world with music and movies alone? That's the stuff that makes people susceptible to subversion.
     
    CiVex likes this.
  5. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    Panopticism, at its core, is a dehumanizing, cynical, and pessimistic view of human nature

    from the wiki: Whereas Bentham himself regarded the Panopticon as a rational, enlightened, and therefore just, solution to societal problems, his ideas have been repeatedly criticised by others

    seems he had no pessimistic, dehumanizing or cynical ideas or goals in mind, so there seems to be a flaw in your basic premise here.

    here is what the game designers had in mind for the CV wonder, from the game wiki:

    The Utopia Project is the name for a somewhat amorphous vision of the future of the world. Depending upon who is doing the envisioning, it may include nuclear disarmament, universal peace, or a one-world government. Its proponents hope that it will stop nations and people from killing each other so often, increase the prosperity of everybody, and allow the world to address some growing global problems like climate change and international terrorism. Its opponents see the Utopia Project as a polite name for American (or now Chinese) hegemony.
     
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  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    This is an equally valuable question to be asked:

    What does Cultural Victory mean to the player?

    Is it merely influence? Admiration to the point of replication by other people's, even if it means abandoning their own cultural practices? Or is it something more insidious? Does cultural victory have less to do with 'hearts and minds', and more to do with one country's ability to affect policy/social engineering in another country?

    For instance IRL United States has been historically admired. The Philipinnes largely based its consitution off of the American model. American music, TV, films, clothing, and ideals have global appeal and penetration. "blue jeans and rock 'n' roll"

    On the other hand, US foreign policy has deep influence in places like the middle east. Their ability to control puppet governments as a means of combating communism led countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to become less westernized, less open, and more traditional specifically because of American influence.

    So which one is a better example of America's global cultural hegemony? It's ability to create products and ideas with global mass appeal, or its ability to play kingmaker to the world?

    Furthemore, what is the more important ingredient, the preeminence of the prevailing culture, or the erosion, of the dominated culture?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  7. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    I dislike the use of the Panopticon name/concept for the cultural victory.

    I vote in favour of using the "Utopia project" name/concept from Vanilla BNW.

    If the community really wants Panopticon in VP, then change Prora to Panopticon, it fits better with the totalitarian nature of Autocracy.
     
    polinices, CppMaster and Bromar1 like this.
  8. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    How is tourism generated in VP? Is there even any shady way of generating it? If so, how many of those ways are outside of Autocracy?
     
  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    You cherry-picked that quote from the wiki. You're not arguing honestly.
    Jeremy Bentham did not create the theory of panopticism, that was really Foucault. Foucault's incarnation of panopticism is very much dystopian. Furthermore, Bentham never proposed taking his theories, something meant for a prison population, and then expanding it to be used on society as a whole. To say that Bentham was aware of the ideological ramifications of his work is just plain wrong. That is like saying that eugenics isn't wrong because some nice people have advocated for it in the past.
    What's your point? That sounds perfect to me actually. An amorphous idealogical wonder which implies cultural hegemony. It is anything to anyone, depending on their frame of reference for what constitutes Utopian society.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
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  10. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I say just go back to the utopia project. It’s already known, so it will be easier for newbies. It doesn’t have any true positive or negative connotation. It just gets the job done
     
  11. pza

    pza Prince

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    "I don't know yet, we need more time to test it"
     
    CppMaster likes this.
  12. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Civ has 5 victories:

    Domination - Take over the world by force.
    Science - Make a better world of your own.
    Diplomacy - Have your nation chosen to lead the rest.
    Time - After a certain point the leading nation stands victorious over the rest.
    Each of these leaves everyone else behind in some solid form... For tourism to count as a victory against all civs, something solid seems about right to show that you've subverted all of civilization. It's never been about the individual in this game, it's the erosion of all but your own civilization. After all, so long as the concept of separate civilizations is there, there will continue to be strife between them.
    The game mechanics to reach the victory itself fits panopticon perfectly. Otherwise a "peaceful and kind" victory that leaves everyone alone could only be seen as a stagnant game for you to be satisfied with. A utopia fits science better IMO.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  13. Erik_TheRed

    Erik_TheRed Chieftain

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    Some additional CV wonder ideas:


    Autocracy:
    La Citat Nuova (futurist city-design)

    Freedom:
    Perhaps something akin to cyberspace/"second-life"? Cryptocurrency?

    Order:
    Soma (or something conceptually similar)... the "Miracle Drug"
    Social Network (state-run, censored) i.e. "Sesame Credit" in China
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2018
  14. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Autocracy desires a magnificent society. La Citat Nuova or Germania would be good

    La Citat Nuova
    10000:c5production:
    +50% :tourism:Tourism on empire while constructing (very hard to stop influence with a culture bomb by another civ)
    production cost is reduced for every world wonder on empire

    Order desires a productive society - Sesame Credit is a great fit.

    Social Credit System
    10000:c5production:
    Eliminates :c5unhappy: Crime while constructing, all other cities gain +25%:c5production: in city
    Production cost is reduced for every population on empire

    Freedom desires a happy society - either a cyberspace or Soma could fit equally well here.

    Soma
    10000:c5production:
    +25%:c5science: on Empire while constructing
    100% of :c5science: on empire converted to :c5production: in city constructing Soma.

    G would never go for it, but it's a fun idea.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  15. poundjd

    poundjd Warlord Supporter

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    I can and do support this!

    Both concepts are basically anti-freedom, anti-freedom of expression, and don't make people who know about them feel good. which is why most of us play.

    I disagree, you are presenting a better model of society, for all to see. if most don't agree then any effect won't happen!
    It is not uplifting to any but a very few! that's its death knell for me!
    -jeff
     
  16. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    See, the thing is that the whole point is that no one sees the subversion part. The societal model is already achieved through influence. The panopticon is the way to apply it to the remaining powers. The alternative to make your own peaceful society without messing with the rest of the world? Go to space.
     
  17. poundjd

    poundjd Warlord Supporter

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    @ashendashin I would Disagree, I certainly saw it and I'd wager that most do. most people are smart until they be come part of some bigger Idea.
    -jeff
     
  18. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    From the beginning right to the end, tourism in this game has been about directly exporting your culture to the other civs (eg. Great Works and Musicians, Heritage, Cultural Exchange, Media Culture, trade routes, broadcast stations), or showing how your culture is better than theirs (eg. Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Futurism, Cult of Personality). The only method to generate tourism that I can think of that goes against this idea is Order's Cultural Revolution.

    To subvert all of this by stating that the end goal for the civilization with the best culture is to keep everyone in line using omnipresent surveillance is pretty odd. This seems more of an Order specific goal than a cultural one.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  19. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Which Soma are you talking about? The hallucinogen?
     
  20. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    i like the addition.. the concept is very civ.. i like some of the other ideas floated here too.. can it be more than one thing?
     

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