In my school, as a class assignment, for a week we had to talk and interact like the characters of 1984. If you have not read 1984, it is a dystonia novel where there is a big brother figure that controls everything. It includes two main groups of people: the outer party (comrades) and the thinkpols (the thought police). The comrades are always feeling paranoid by this. In my experience as a comrade, I felt paranoid by the thinkpols monitoring each one of my actions. It is as if I will become unperson if I break one of these crimes. With this game the way I view my classmates changed but it got be to understand the dystopian world George Orwell has presented. Through this experience, I learned about the way people interacted in this book and how people felt along with how it affects an individual because they always have to look over their soldiers to ensure that no one is there watching them. They have to ensure that they do nothing bad or else they risk getting reported. Here is an even deeper reflection about what I learned through the week!
My general reactions to this game were that it was going to be plusfun. At first, it was awkward calling everyone comrades, and staring at the speaker during the announcements then saying "Go Titans!" once they were done. Even saying "Good morning/Good afternoon Comrades" every day to our friends was doubleplusweird. However, at the beginning of the week, everyone was trying hard to follow all the rules, but as the week went one, we all probably broke all the rules. Also, by the end of the week we were trying to figure out who the thoughtpols were, so were could out them. Even though my experience was weird and awkward, it was also very hard because we are not used to talking to our friends like that. To be honest I do not even think I say hi or hey, I just start talking to them.
During the course of the week, I started to look at my classmates differently because the person siting right in next to me could have been the thought police. If I had forgotten something as simple as saying "Good Morning, Comrade", then he or she could have written me up, just like in the book for things as simple as thoughtcrimes or facecrimes. It made me feel doubleparonoid. This was because we did not know the blackwhite (truth) about our classmates. Our best friends could have been the thoughtpol causing us not to be able to act in our own life. At one point in the game, I thought that I would get written up for a face crime or a crime thought because I did not know who the thought police were, so I thought that I could get written up for everything. In addition, whenever, Big Brother put the list of infractions up, I got a pit in my stomach because I thought that I would get written up. It was as if there were telescreens everywhere looking at our every move.
However, as weird and as paranoid as I felt during the course of this game, it helped me understand the book a lot better. At first, I did not understand why everyone was always on the tip of his or her toes and how no one can trust anyone, but now I understand why everyone must be a goodthinker in order to live. It is because of the thought police always being there. The thought police can catch them for being a crimethinker or a oldthinker, and they could end up being vaporized for simple crimes. For example, my friend got written up just for not saying Good Morning Comrade to someone. In addition to the mistakes we made, our thought police were not very good because they did not catch anyone for their mistakes. In good conscience, I did not say "Good Morning, Comrade" to everyone, and I did not get written up at all.
Lastly, having people monitor my every move does not make me feel safe. It makes me feel as if I have no freedom and no space to breathe. Along with that, I feel that the thought police are a major reason as to why Eurasia, Eastasia, and Oceania are always at war. They have people not being able to say their thoughts and what they believe in, and keeping their anger in, etc. This causes people to believe that they are foreigners, or ungood, and that their ideas do not matter, causing them to believe every doublethink phrase the government says. Because of this, they do not know the difference between right and wrong, they just agree with what the government says, so they do not get in trouble.