Realistic reaction to everybody getting powers:

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Grin and tonic
I'm trying to figure out a plausible world reaction to every human above the age of sixteen getting one or two supernatural powers.

No one is going to have a power level comparable to Magneto or Superman.

I've decided on what the powers are and roughly the limits. (I can list them if needed)

My initial thoughts where that after a period of a few months the chaos would die down and people would adapt to their new lives.

Does this seem too optimistic or naive?

Related: Mass Super-Empowering Event

Also: If this thread already exists in some form a link would be appreciated.

edited 4th Feb '11 7:42:22 AM by MCE

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2 MrAHR4th Feb 2011 07:45:32 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
People have extraordinary abilities to adapt. So you are quite right, actually. I don't know if it would happen that quickly, or take that long, but people are amazing at adjusting.
Grin and tonic
I do feel that people would take advantage of this if it happened.

Things like
  • self help books: make the most of your powers!
  • Dating:find people with good powers/powers like yours!
  • astrology replacement: people defined by their powers
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4 MrAHR4th Feb 2011 08:01:48 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
That's pretty much adaptation isn't it? Do you want to speculate finer details, or just if everyone will end up being OK with it give or take a coupe of months?
Grin and tonic
Finer details, plus I think some one take longer to adapt than others, some may try and deny they have powers at all, which leads to side effects.

Those who have problems dealing with change, have strong beliefs of how the world works or what is and isn't possible could become problematic.
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6 MrAHR4th Feb 2011 08:09:45 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Very well. For a long time, the court systems and justice programs will be a HUGE mess. New loopholes, new situations and all that jazz.

There will be initially a large debt, as now suddenly buildings are at risk for disasters like never before.

There wil be cults, gangs, and lots of stuff like that.

The fundamentalists ala the WBC will probably greatly enjoy protesting it, and for the most part turn into a minority as more time goes on.

If it's not a world-wide gain, and only a one-area gain, the military will pretty much be unstoppable.

Even if not that, while there might be an initial debt or chaos in structure, people will find a way to use their abilities to benefit them, maybe even reverting the debt created, or matching it.

All the science departments will explode in popularity as they actually become even MORE relevant to every day life.

Doctors and physicians will start to become rapidly under-educated as new students are learning updated facts about the powered individuals.

Superhero comics will prolly never be the same as a genre. Books and shows will at first remain stagnant (with a few rushed ones attempting to cash in on the chaos) as ideas from a previous time are put through, and will eventually either go for nostalgia, or evolve to meet the new circumstances.

So yeah.

edited 4th Feb '11 8:14:20 AM by MrAHR

Grin and tonic
Important details
  • Powers have hard limit, the maximum range of any power is 2 miles.
  • Power partial get their energy from their user, partially from another power source
  • exercising a power makes it stronger, up to the limits of a person energy reserves and the hard limit.
  • All powers are voluntary, except when they 'leak' though energy build up.

I deliberately made it so that everybody (above 16) gets powers so that certain groups have a hard time saying they are evil. I also made it so that not using them isn't a real option either, in fact doing so may become illegal.

I feel many exist laws are robust enough to cope with new situations but new ones will need to be written.

edited 4th Feb '11 8:56:19 AM by MCE

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8 Sidewinder4th Feb 2011 03:47:19 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Sneaky Bastard
You should probably consider the political ramifications. Fundamentalist states such as Iran could take the entire event as a sign from God and start some kind of crusade against the rest of the world (how successful they would be is another story). Or the event could be something that breaks the hold the religious leadership has on the country and somebody else, good or bad, could come to power.

Internal stability would probably take a big hit. Most states would probably survive, but in some less stable countries it might develop into civil war as the local government is unable to stop it.

There would probably be some major upheavals within the various religions. Some would probably leave their church, but others would join. The details would depend on how the leaders of said religion would react to the event.

There would probably be a few small wars as a side suddenly thinks they have an advantage, before realizing that their enemy also has powers.
Grin and tonic
Good detail, this is the kind of thing I'm looking for.Thank you Sidewinder and Mr AHR

I see now that for many people this empowering event would be like grafting a gun to someone's hand and then walking away, smirking.

There are are 26 possible powers, 6 are seen as 'bad' , 16 are neutral, 4 are suspect and 1 is 'good'. Most people end up with a neutral power. I'm thinking that some people would be prejudiced against because of their powers. Others would be seen as boring. Powers could go in and out of fashion.

edited 5th Feb '11 8:47:09 AM by MCE

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10 pagad4th Feb 2011 05:48:52 PM from perfidious Albion , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Sneering Imperialist
How are you defining "bad" and "good"? "Bad" as in the power can only reasonably be used for evil, or "bad" as in a horrible, disfiguring mutation?
With cannon shot and gun blast smash the alien. With laser beam and searing plasma scatter the alien to the stars.
Shouldn't all powers be neutral? I thought how you used them determined whether right or wrong came from them.

Anyways,Sidewinder is probably right. Right off the bat,you can expect mass chaos. Everytime a sudden,big change happens there is anarchy. Wars,civil wars,escalation in crime,factions forming,it would be the end of the world as we know it. New government would probably form in many countries,turning democracies into totalitarian states,and completely breaking down weaker 3rd world countries. Some might even go so far as to become barbarian tribes with modern looks.

Not to mention every scientist on the planet racing each other to put a theory out as to how this event happened. Politicians would immeidietly try for a power grab,and maybe some of the more stable states might manage to pull it together enough to maintain order.

Still,mass chaos. It would take some doing to explain all of it in depth.

edited 4th Feb '11 9:10:19 PM by TheProffesor

highly secure
Um, everybody results in pretty big social changes.
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13 MCE5th Feb 2011 08:42:38 AM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
How are you defining "bad" and "good"? "Bad" as in the power can only reasonably be used for evil, or "bad" as in a horrible, disfiguring mutation? - pagad

Bad powers are those that mostly have negatives uses, using then positively would be a challenge. No powers cause mutations or disfigurement to the user.

Shouldn't all powers be neutral? I thought how you used them determined whether right or wrong came from them. - The Proffesor,

In theory yes, but this is more about people perceptions of those powers, neutral powers can be used for evil and evil powers can be used for good, it just takes a bit more imagination.

A list of the powers and if they are seen as positive, negative, suspect or neutral.

edit: turns out their are 4 suspect powers, 16 neutral and 6 'evil'

  • Telepathy (Communication only - neutral
  • Nightmare generation - negative
  • Remote viewing - suspect
  • Aura vision - neutral
  • S.C.P (selective temporal perception) - neutral

‘Manipulation’ - all neutral
  • Gravity
  • Heat
  • Water
  • Earth
  • Metals
  • Air and gases
  • Vibrations
  • Light

‘Directed energy’
  • Plasma fire - negative
  • Necrotic touch - negative
  • Healing - positive

‘Adjustable forms’
  • Curse creation - negative
  • Illusion creation - suspect

‘Energy fields’
  • Force fields - neutral
  • Invisibility - suspect

‘Body function effecting’
  • Turbo boost - neutral
  • Dampening - negative

Otherness/other space manipulation
  • Shadow people - negative
  • Phasing - suspect
  • Teleportation - neutral

edited 5th Feb '11 9:03:43 AM by MCE

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14 MousaThe145th Feb 2011 08:46:26 AM from Northern Virginia , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Writer, Artist, Ignored
"Curse creation?"
15 MCE5th Feb 2011 08:50:24 AM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
Curse creation is the ability to create programmable curses that can inhibit the function of the human body, from making your leg go to sleep to total organ failure.

Curses are energy constructs that feed of a victims energy and can be compared to computer viruses. They cannot spread from their initial victim/host (in most cases)

edited 5th Feb '11 8:53:50 AM by MCE

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highly secure
Um, I have enough faith in the human race that we wouldn't conform to Bad Powers, Bad People to such a huge degree.
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17 MCE5th Feb 2011 09:35:14 AM from Elsewhere
Grin and tonic
Given human history and our knack for finding alternatives uses for things I'd say the time between somebody getting neutral power and finding a negative use for it would be roughly ten seconds.

But at the end of the day what kind of person are would determine how you used your power, not what power you have.

I bet each of us here could come up with several positive and negative uses for each power given a bit of time.

edited 5th Feb '11 9:40:40 AM by MCE

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Total posts: 17