Memes and antimemes

I’m pretty sure most folks here have read There’s no Antimemetics division by qntm. If not, I highly recommend. There Is No Antimemetics Division @ Things Of Interest
Would it be possible to implement something of the sort in Cataclysm?

For memes there’s already stuff like amigara horrors like thats kinda related . Some ideas:
-compulsion memes that restrict certain actions/force you to take certain actions, like addictions or amigara stuff
-memetic diseases spread by examination of objects, reading books, hearing sounds
-can be avoided by usage of blindfolds or earmuffs in dangerous areas, cured by amnestics
-can be weaponised against sapients
-potentially weaponised by other factions like mi-go?

Antimemetic ideas:
-mnestics can be discovered in labs
-taking mnestics unlocks vision of certain entities for the duration of effect (e.g. antimemetic spiders) and makes player see the antimemetic parasites present on everyone, so curing them would immediately give a small bonus
-when mnestics run out antimemetic entities turn invisible and uninteractable, blind shooting at them wont harm them, exploding general area might but you wont see corpses until you take mnestics again
-antimemetic ruins
-antimemetic faction? something thats relatively weak compared to the other big factions but survives because it flies under radar
-antimemetic locations inaccessible without taking mnestics. Not sure how it can work, perhaps a secret Z-level thing?

Memetic/antimemetic entities should be relatively benign (like the parasites) except some that are restricted to obviously dangerous locations or events like portal storms, so as not to randomly kill unsuspecting players. Discovering mnestics and antimemetic content should be a fun thing to do, like acquiring a power armor or mutating, not a requirement. Memetic content could probably be discovered by accident like mi-gos screaming hostile memes but be easily counterable with common stuff like ear protection or something.

Probably going to be very hard to implement in a fun non-exploitable way as player will still be able to remember everything regardless of mnestics/amnestics, so mnestics/amnestics should have some effect on the world beyond cosmetic masking to make entities uninteractable and/or unreacheable.

1 Like

Generally speaking anything to do with memory manipulations or compulsions will will be an extremely hard sell. The amigara horror toes the line by watering down the original concept a great deal from a compulsion to a forbidden action (no walking away instead of you must approach).

1 Like

Hard sell because it is extremely hard to implement, as in requires lots of effort that can instead be spent elsewhere for more gain, and thus will never be even attempted or because its somehow not fitting for cdda lore/atmosphere/whatever?

“meme” stuff is usually relegated to a mod / crazy cataclysm, and in this case, it would definitely be better as a mod that’s not part of the mainline game.

The Amigara stuff isn’t a meme, but a reference to a horror concept, not a “haha funny web comic” thing.

Plus you’re wanting someone to implement a “funneh joek” with just a vague description of how it would work - yeah that’s not happening. Your concept is probably something that will fit Cataclysm Bright Nights - they’re the ones that usually just want to shove every single concept into it.

Is it possible to implement? Yes.
Will someone do it for you? Unlikely.

This isn’t about the internet culture definition of ‘Meme’ but the pre-internet concept that a meme is a concrete thing, transmitted between people like an infection via communication or accidental exposure, that now lives in your mind. Think of the Amogus meme, with people suddenly seeing the crewmates everywhere - This meme, once placed in your head, has altered how you perceive things in the real world, forever. The horror take on this being, what if those ideas that have embedded themselves into you are malicious, and/or capable of doing far more than just altering your perceptions.

Which is why I completely agree with Kevin that its a really hard sell, having the controlled characters do things against the player input. Perhaps other narrowed approaches to the idea could be taken via indirect consequences for not following the compulsion, like morale detriments, but I feel like that’d be very annoying without creating interesting gameplay - If the meme compulsion fades, then its just another form of addiction detox you suffer through for a few weeks. If it doesn’t fade without some external action, then unless that action is fairly trivial in its accessibility, enjoy your gimped character and focus until you figure it out.

Its a hard sell because its difficult to implement in a way that isn’t just an unfun punishment for the player or a negligible system that immensely diminishes the impact of memetic horrors.


Yes to both, it doesn’t fit and it would be difficult to do it justice.