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TRAITS (member-attributed "LIKES")
THE SETTING #USES
PLAYING AS #USES
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HOW IT'S PLAYED #USES
GENERAL TONE #USES
Majestic is a game that wants to be so real that you won't always know that you are playing it. While most games take you away to other times and places, Majestic instead pays you a visit, right where you live. By using your own computer and e-mail system, your own telephone number, and even incorporating the real names of friends and family members that may be listed in your files, the game makes every effort to seamlessly integrate itself into your life, blurring the line between the real and the imaginary. And so you are drawn into a reticulation of mystery and intrigue, involving a true-life theory of conspiracy and deceit.
Whether you are a debunking skeptic or a "true believer," conspiracy theories are interesting because they take place here, in our own real world. Conspiracy enthusiasts don't wonder "what if it were true..." Instead they ask, "What if it is true..." This is the question Majestic hopes you'll be asking yourself as you play the game.
Like other forms of narrative media, computer games usually require a "suspension of disbelief" from their audience. For example, there was never a real person known as "the Great Gatsby." There never was an actual Luke Skywalker, no matter how long ago or far away you're willing to look for him. In reality, there is no plumber alive who could jump eight times his own height from a dead standstill (even if he does eat a giant mushroom first).
These are facts that we all believe, but that we are willing to "suspend" for the sake of the story. Authors and artists create places like Gatsby's mansion, or the Death Star, or Super Mario World for us. The only real price of admission to these fantastic places is that we agree to "go along" and try to accept what we are shown, even when it might disagree with what the real world has taught us to believe.
It is in this sense that Majestic is different from other games made for your home computer. Majestic is based on what the real world has taught us to believe. Instead of creating a new world, the story is set in our own time and place. It involves people that actually exist and events that actually happen.
Instead of using 3D modeling and surround-sound effects to heighten the realism, the game makes itself real by installing itself into your regular, everyday life. For example, it would not be so difficult to believe that some stranger is keeping an eye on your wife if you were to get an actual e-mail from an "unknown operative" that mentions her by name, sent straight to your personal account.
In Majestic, when a character says he'll "get back to you tomorrow," it does not mean that you'll hear from him again after one day in game time. It means that you'll probably get an e-mail or an instant message from him tomorrow, real time. Tomorrow your time. Instead of "suspending disbelief," Majestic players may instead need to "suspend belief" occasionally, lest they fall victim to actual paranoia. Majestic does not take place "a long time ago in a galaxy far away." It takes place at your house. Unlike Gatsby or Mario, you are a real person. And you are the star of Majestic.
Due to the conspiracy theme and the invasively realistic nature of Majestic, publisher Electronic Arts decided to temporarily suspend the online game following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. The game resumed a week later, with a September 18th statement. In February 2002, it was announced that the game would end entirely. The Majestic Team noted that while the game was a huge critical success, it was not as popular with players and that publisher EA had decided to discontinue Majestic service on April 30th, 2002, in order to focus resources on more popular projects. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide