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Playing With / Big Brother Is Watching

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Basic Trope: The government and/or organization of high authority uses sophisticated surveillance technology to spy on its own citizens while looking for dissidents – and everyone is aware of it, but never know when they are being watched.

  • Straight: Everyone in the country of Madethisupolis is being monitored by the government, who are listening to everyday conversations through their cell phones, which they can’t turn off and have a five-month charge.
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  • Exaggerated: Every single person on the planet is being monitored by the New World Order in this manner.
  • Downplayed: Due to limits involving Human Rights laws, the government is only allowed to “spy” on one particular person in a given day.
  • Justified:
    • Dystopia Justifies The Means
    • There is a terrorist threat against the country, but nobody knows who the terrorist is or what he (or she) looks like – therefore accessing the nationwide Sinister Surveillance is the fastest way to find out who’s responsible.
    • The people of the government are extremely paranoid and/or control freaks.
    • Due to the Forever War (or Forever Cold War) with Madethatupolis, the government must be always on the lookout for the members of the vast spy network the enemy surely has. Their sleeper agents could be anybody.
  • Inverted: As part of a revolutionary new political system, the people of Madethisupolis are able to watch what the government officials are doing at any given time by broadcasting meetings directly to their television screens. In other words You Watch Big Brother.
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  • Subverted: The government of Madethisupolis is only really capable of watching the main streets and government buildings with their surveillance system...
  • Double-Subverted: ...or at least that's the lie they tell to cover up the existence of microscopic surveillance drones able to be deployed anywhere.
  • Parodied: Madethisupolis' citizens' refrigerators have cameras in them.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes the entire surveillance system is down for months at a time for maintanence – therefore nobody is watching sometimes. Not that anyone can tell, though…
  • Averted: Despite possessing other Dystopia-like qualities, the people are not being watched by the government on a day-to-day basis.
  • Enforced: Madethisupopia is a Shout-Out to Oceania, so Sinister Surveillance is a must.
  • Lampshaded: “We’re being watched by our own government…we never know who’s being watched – or when.”
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  • Invoked: Emperor Evulz uses an advanced surveillance system to spy on his citizens and keep everyone in line.
  • Exploited: Women in bathrooms are being watched by horny government.
  • Defied: La Résistance manages to find ways to circumvent the nationwide security system.
  • Discussed: “Shh…the walls have eyes.” “Right. And the doors. And the ceiling. And the floors. All of them have the eyes of our fu-- er, fabulous leader, Emperor Evulz the Great!”
  • Conversed: “Dude, this is totally like Nineteen Eighty-Four!” “No, I’m pretty sure we didn’t have that technology in the year 1984.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Government officials eventually become bored of watching mundane activities 24/7 – and never have enough time to actually have a life themselves. This in addition to the lack of any anti-government activity for ten whole years causes “Big Brother” to declare the surveillance system not only unnecessary, but also detrimental to the well-being of the citizens he actually cares for, and it is uninstalled.
    • The surveillance network is so large that it takes DAYS to shift through all of it, and La Résistance is so good at making plans sound like mundane conversation that any plots against the government can't be confirmed until it's too late...
    • Being a member of the network is boring. Really boring. The people in charge spend most time sleeping and playing card games instead. Everyone is free to talk about anything, simply because they know that, since most of the people shifting through the footage won't be because it's too goddamn boring, they're likely to miss any plots against the government.
  • Reconstructed:

The Big Brother Is Watching page is watching you…

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