Neurocracy

Project media

Neurocracy is a project conceived by Joannes Truyens, Younès Rabii, and myself, featuring visual direction and illustrations by Alice Duke and Ollie Tarbuck in addition to a range of futurist stories from contributing writers Leigh Alexander, Io Black, Holly Nielsen, Malka Older, Edward Smith, Axel Hassen Taiari, and Yudhanjaya Wijeratne. It aims to be equal parts interactive fiction and cautionary tale about the intersection of surveillance capitalism, big data, and authoritarianism. This is conveyed through the medium of a futuristic equivalent of Wikipedia known as Omnipedia, in which the reader is presented with articles and information in a familiar format so that they may piece together the history and events of the year 2049.

I wrote a lot of custom code (which is open source) to enable Drupal to behave like a wiki while also making the content itself simple to edit and expand upon. A simulated revision system was implemented to allow readers to jump between different iterations of the same content for chronological in-universe “days”.

Another system was created to allow us to define, manage, and display short pieces of content accessible by hovering over or tapping pseudo-links without leaving the page. Analogous to Wikipedia’s article previews, these pop-ups are displayed as rich tooltips (powered by Tippy.js) on wider screens, while on narrow screens they’re displayed as a panel that slides up into view.

The Drupal administration interface was expanded upon to accommodate the episodic day system, along with multiple user interfaces to manage everything from the pop-up content to various settings.

The first season of Neurocracy has been released. If you want to keep up to date with the project and get involved, visit the promo site for more information.

Press, awards, and reviews

We’ve been covered by numerous publications from The Guardian to PC Gamer, and have been nominated for and won several awards: