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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. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Tell me, how will your taste in fashion make a foreign leader abdicate? Does everyone hear about that one tv series and decide they had enough of their government? Will those mixed families go up in arms purely because they can trace much of their lineage to the neighboring country? How will you claim victory over all governments just because everyone looks the same? Do all interests in power end with entertainment?

    As you approach the end of the game you have a multitude of victory options. Maybe you've been focusing on science, war, influence, or a strong combination of it all, but in the end you have the option to take advantage of all you've working on to step up and claim legitimate victory over all nations. A societal model isn't all there is to government.
     
  2. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    I do approve of the concept we're going for, here. Cultural victory seems completely out of touch with the others in it's potential to run away before anyone else can even get their feet on the ground. Whether or not an extremely high-production, late-game wonder is the best mechanical way to handle it I have absolutely no idea, but (at least in theory) it's definitely preferable to the current state.

    That being said... as soon as I read up on the Panopticon and got an idea of what it was supposed to be, I was immediately very uncomfortable with it. Anytime I've played culturally, my personal 'head canon' has it so that I'm something like the religious leaders of old. I may not be 'officially' in control of your government, but your population is so taken with the ideas and beliefs of my culture that my word probably carries as much weight as yours, if not more. That's why a city influenced by my culture might revolt and willingly come to my side when you're trying to spread beliefs I disagree with.

    I very much like the idea @Erik_TheRed suggested about different wonders for each ideology. Mechanically identical in every way, but with different flavors depending on your ideology. An Order or Autocracy culture is probably more or less okay with the idea of Panopticon; Autocracy in particular. Getting that kind of 'victory' with Freedom would just feel... dissonant.
     
  3. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    The cultural victory isn't about your government taking over all the other governments of the world. That's limited to Military and Diplomatic victory, which go about it in different ways. This victory is about your culture being omnipresent to the point that no other culture exists.
     
    polinices, glider1 and CppMaster like this.
  4. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    Isn't that (sort of) what city revolts basically are?
     
  5. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    You achieve it through influencing all the nations of the world though...And you end the game with it. Your civ is declared victorious over all. It doesn't necessarily have to be viewed as literally taking over the country, but to beat them all you've gotta have something beyond simple cultural significance. At least with the game mechanics in place the panopticon makes perfect sense.
    Since the options of force and diplomacy exists for everyone else, I don't see how you can be legitimately victorious without getting rid of those obstacles.
    Point is that influence isn't the only thing at play. Revolts only happen when a civ is unhappy, for example. In real life such things always get an extra push from foreign powers and there's a bunch of ways ingame to mess with another civs stability.
     
  6. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    Right, including having so much influence over them that their citizens become deeply unhappy as a direct result of their pushing an ideology their citizens disagree with. You can become so influential that it becomes literally impossible for all but the most authoritarian leaders to maintain any sort of grip on their citizenry. They become more and more unhappy and, if you don't fix it, they can revolt and leave your control entirely or overthrow your government and put their own leaders in place, forcing you to adopt the ideology they prefer.

    Cultural victory is the ultimate 'soft power' victory, in my mind, and the Panopticon is very much representative of a 'hard power' mindset.
     
  7. Guynemer

    Guynemer King

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    Very much agreed.
     
  8. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I don't think I agree with you at all, @ashendashin. Cultural influence already does make military intervention easier with another culture (If Japan invades America and all the Americans are already weeaboos, then a regime change isn't as difficult/unwelcome)

    I have never considered cultural victory a violent or coercive victory condition. A Panopticon is an overtly coercive tool, however.
    Here's what I see in each of the victory conditions:
    Domination - Oh no! Frank beat up all the other kids on the playground! I guess we better do what he says
    Diplomacy - Oh wow, Frank is pretty much friends with everyone. He's so popular and cool and throws great parties. Let's make him class president!
    Time - Aw man, recess is over. I guess we just say Frank is the winner and go in?
    Science - What the heck? Frank is so smart he just jumped an entire grade! Who's homework am I going to copy now, dammit?
    Cultural - Frank's family is so nice and interesting, and his mom always makes the best food when he invites me over. I wish MY mom would make good food and listen to good music... Man I want to be Frank.
     
    Diverman, hr_oskar and CppMaster like this.
  9. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Civ's ideologies easily make a mess of my entire argument.
    Everything I've said so far is meant to convey that without that "hard power", you can't ignore the world powers and claim that your culture is all that matters, nukes and unreasonably powerful old men or no.
    Ideologies are ideals though, and those have removed sense from the beginning. I continue to argue about it though 'cause three options for CV is probably way too much for the AI and only one option is a bit more in line with the overall victory flavors.
    That's...a bit too comical for my tastes. Refer to the above for the rest of your post since we're going for simplifications in place of any agreement.
     
  10. grmagne

    grmagne Warlord

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    I like that idea. My suggestions would be:
    Freedom: Disney World
    Order: Panopticon
    Autocracy: Some type of Eugenics Program. I realize that early 20th century Liberals were at the forefront of the Eugenics movement, but it has since become associated with the Nazis.

    It's not a pretty picture, but "Ideologies" always have a dark side.
     
  11. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    I don't think any of this implies you're completely lacking in hard power. No matter what victory type you win, you've definitely had to keep a military to defend yourself, and you probably had to send out an offensive force at some point when a neighbor was doing just a little too well for your comfort, or was acting like a jerk and wouldn't listen to reason. Most sot power is backed by some level of hard power, or else the hard powers of the world would just run right over you. When you've won a cultural victory, though, you've decided to emphasize your soft power over hard, and you've succeeded so completely that overtly acting against you (with hard power) is like to cause your citizens to toss you out on your arse.

    Using the religion metaphor again, imagine if Jesus were a person living today and controlling, say, the Papal States. In much of the world, all that President Jesus would have to do is say the word, and millions would act. Now imagine a country like the United States trying to act militarily against Jesus and how badly that would go. Extend the metaphor and imagine that Jesus has that level of influence everywhere,

    That's my (very rough) concept of what a cultural victory looks like.

    (EDIT: This metaphor got away from me a bit and I think I lost the thread of the original thought I was bringing together. I'm leaving it up as-is, but I'm not sure it makes the point I started from.)
     
  12. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    I am in favor of calling the VC Wonder "Finalized Canon" or something else that implies an MCU-esque phenomenon, wherein a place like Hollywood decides what entertainment will be important in the coming year. Panopticon is perhaps not a pessimistic as people are making out; Facebook is basically a form of it, yes? But I do dislike it being the end-point of my tourism generation.
     
  13. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    While I'm so far in favor of the 'end game wonder' mechanic, if all we're trying to do is mitigate how early a CV is possible, would moving the goalposts to 'Dominant' instead of 'Influential' be at all effective?
     
  14. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    For the people who don't like Panopticon for RP reasons, let me posit a different point of view on the name:

    Civs that want to stop you now have a reason other than "he almost has too many of the gray suitcase points!" Having a nation rise up to stop another nation from establishing their own version of a panopticon makes sense.
     
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  15. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    I like the Panopticon as a wonder. It's far more interesting than a boring, idealistic and vague "Utopia Project". The Panopticon as a cultural wonder indicates how the cultural institutions have actually taken hold and controlled society, I like that more than a "oh dey have art me likey me no do nothing against them" which is pretty funny when you think about it. The fact is no one is going to submit to other civs because they have art people like. The Nazis invaded France didn't they? The USSR didn't collapse because those damn Beatles, right? The Panopticon gives more of an impression of a real and lasting victory through culture, I think it represents how culture really affects civilizations, in darker ways such as in the Middle East right now.

    Anyway, including the Panopticon would actually teach a new concept to people who play VP, as opposed to a Utopia Project, that's always nice :)

    That wouldn't just delay culture victory, it would make it a lot harder too.
     
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  16. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Religious victory is a Civ6 topic :smug:
    Seriously though, it is. In this context your civilization has been spreading their way of life, not their commandments. Ideologies and beliefs do make a mess of this, but that's never been how I looked at it. People have been moving in and out of your nation. Your entertainment, style, language, etc., is known throughout the world, so your culture can influence foreign ideals. Following similar ideals does not remove other players. I doubt it would even "stand the test of time". The concept of a panopticon is the only realistic way I can imagine for a civ to solidify their claim to victory through assimilation.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  17. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    ...Well crap. You've almost caused me to flip sides with one sentence. Fair play.
     
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  18. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    I do have to concede that my 'head canon' never really went as far a figuring what was precisely 'happening' at the end. The cultural victory does come off as somewhat... anti-climactic in that nothing specific causes you to 'win.' That said, I'm not sure that any of these victories truly "stand the test of time" in that way. You can dominate everyone, but an uprising could happen eventually. You can run off to another planet, but the rest could catch up eventually or you're going to have your own situations to deal with. (See: Civ Beyond Earth.) You can become the World Leader, but there's no realistic reason to believe that actually lasts beyond the next meeting of the World Congress.

    A Panopticon is just very Orwellian. I'm not comfortable with doing that, y'know?
     
  19. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    To me, having something that answers all claims to power is what it takes for a victory. Culture by itself just ain't got that.

    A lot of what you do in civ can be a bit much depending how you look at it. I think it's better to distance people from being too tied to the endless positive feedback loop the civ series has been pushing.
    Plus I've never been a fan of tourism in this game...Stop staring at me so menacingly over that dimly lit desk, Pedro.
     
  20. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Pineappledan's wife, who has actually read Foucault, chiming in:

    Panopticism is based on power imbalance. Prisons, and the model of the panopticon are based on the idea of "docile bodies". Constant surveillance makes the subject feel and internalize their subjugation through unequal gaze.

    This works in civilization because you are an omnipresent sovereign. Sort of.

    Using the construction of a Panopticon to indicate that you have "arrived" culturally means that the only way you could enact your cultural dominance was through the creation of docile bodies; through coercion instead of suggestion. In some respect, a panopticon could be seen as the utter failure to create cultural dominance; the antithesis of cultural control. If the only way to enact your will is through discipline and violence, then you have not brought people over to your way of thinking. Instead you have enslaved people while they are still conscious of their bondage.

    On the other hand, cultural victory could be seen as a way to make the prisoner "love their chains".

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."
    - Voltaire
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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