Other factions at the station, such as the Port Authority, the former union Havenage and the loosely regulated and over-confident Hypha municipality, are organizations that are as scattered as any business and just as capable of institutional neglect. While Damian Martin has their policy, they are not interested in veiled agitprop.
“I never wanted to make a story about closing down a comically evil conglomerate. I wanted to tell a story on the periphery of capitalism where so many of us have learned how to exist.”
Our insecure world
In many of their interviews about Citizen SleepingDamian Martin’s depth centers on the concept of precarity, which inspired them as they read Anna Tsings Fungus at the End of the Worldone of many ingenious works of modern science fiction alluded to in the game.
“So many structures around us put pressure on our lives,” Damian Martin notes, “it’s up to us to be healthy, successful and satisfied. We’re all fighting to achieve these things in competition with each other, and we’re fighting for jobs, opportunities, property, even social status.
“We justify this with the myth of meritocracy, which dictates that the only thing that separates someone from the comfort of success or despair at failure is to be arbitrarily judged to be good at something arbitrarily valuable. It is an incredibly uncertain method of confirming our right to exist with dignity.
When you think about the implications of stock markets, international politics, or the restrictions that come with being an immigrant or another limited identity, you find even more uncertainty. Our world is full of systems we can never imagine controlling. We are surrounded by small, fragile walls, “explains Damian Martin,” when these walls buckle and break, we fall against mental collapse, bankruptcy, distress, or even death. “
We constantly notice these walls Citizen Sleeping. The game’s financial fear of being able to afford food is compounded by medical anxiety about where to secure the serum that sustains our failing body, or how to afford the solutions that can lift us out of our dangerous circumstances. When caught among so many predatory systems at crucial times, rolling a low set of action dice can create cascading setbacks.
“The greatest defense against these unsympathetic systems that I have found is reciprocity at the grassroots,” Damian Martin concludes. “Even though we cannot determine the value of what we earn or the rights we deserve, we can always try to show up for each other when we are needed. When people around us roll with snake eyes. The intimacy of mutual support is basically how everyone survives this world. From the very beginning, this should always be the arc of Citizen Sleeping, as it has been in my own life in many ways. I do not think there are enough stories about people trapped in these unsafe spaces. ”
Citizen Sleeping is set to continue with three free episodes of DLC, the first of which, titled “Flux,” tells the story of a refugee flotilla locked out of Erlin’s Eye by quarantine measures.
“All I want to say right now is that ‘Flux’ is turning its focus on issues around refugees, bureaucracy and creating space for compassion in democratic systems,” explains Damian Martin. “I hope the players will find it interesting and will follow the episodic story as it unfolds this year and next year.”