No6@Prisoner106 has proposed a Prisoner themed summer ds106 experience. I’m trying to think of how it might go. There are so many potential angles…

The basic story, as I recall, is about a secret agent who resigns, angrily, and is then kidnapped and taken to an odd little village. He’s pressured in various ways to explain why he resigned, but will not say. He doesn’t know if he’s a captive of his own people or an enemy power. Everyone has numbers instead of names. Number 2 is the visible person in charge, but he gets replaced just about every week because he always fails to get answers out of Number 6. There’s someone else, who is never seen, calling the shots. That power setup sounds a bit like Noir106 – maybe we need another Jack.

Could we have a new No. 2 every week? Take turns being nominally in charge? It seems possible. Summer ds106es are often open playgrounds, but there should be room for an ineffectual authority figure.

Then there’s the central question: Why did you resign? I’m not quite sure how to play with that. Everyone could take on a persona, like they did in Noir106, with some deep dark secret, as if we’re all 6es, but maybe we’d want to avoid creating an adversarial environment. The other big questions – Who is Number 1? Whose side are you on? – also make me think of Noir106, the Jack story and the Russians. Playing with them might require more management than an open playground could handle though.

I was just reading the Wikipedia article on The Prisoner. It seems that in its original conception, Number 6 was really Number 1, and The Village was the realization of a proposal he made back when he was Danger Man. (Aside: Danger Man once had an adventure with Barbara Steele of Black Sunday fame.) Due to the inevitable creative differences, that storyline was abandoned and all the questions went unanswered. Maybe it’s better that way.

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4 Responses to dsnumber6

  1. I like the idea of anonymity, numbers used to identify, and the constant changing of roles. While I’m not familiar with Prisoner, I feel like this is something that could be played with and could definitely challenge the normal way DS106 operates. What if it was an anonymous community creating art that merely gathered around a hashtag per usual, but they all appeared as numbers or other random identifiers that regularly switched? Each week they could work on building a narrative around that identity, such as “22” or “purple squeaky flip flop.” It wouldn’t be them personifying those things, as much as it would be humanizing a character who doesn’t even have a name to go by. Students could choose to pick up previously held identities and build on previous characterizations. Students could even temporarily have identities that gave them more control over the direction of the course. I think it’s a really interesting idea to play around with, but would probably function best if this DS106 “world” had a basic set of rules and narrative to carry the rest of the stuff regarding identity. This isn’t a perfect idea that I’ve given, but I definitely think the aspects you’ve mentioned have opportunities to go new and exciting places. It would definitely be a step further than we took characterization in Noir106, but one that would probably test DS106 as we know it and challenge us to consider other ways for the class to be structured.

    • phb256 says:

      That’s a really interesting idea – like a kind of role playing game, but the role each player inhabits shifts periodically. ds106 is partly about digital identity and owning one’s own space, so it would flip it on its head in a way. It seems like it would require building a space, like a group blog rather than an aggregated one, and some sort of mechanism to redistribute roles, logons and passwords each week. That way people would have their anonymity behind their personas. They could build out characters and storyline, based on where they want it to go from whatever foundation had been built previously. Like a barely controlled anarchy.

  2. Pingback: Six of One | bavatuesdays

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