A gamedec (short for "game detective") is a person whose profession entails solving problems in sensory worlds for money.
The first gamers who solved other people’s problems in-game emerged as far back as the 1920s, but it wasn’t until 120 years later, when online entertainment became as common as a morning walk, that problems became so manifold they called for someone well-prepared to deal with them. Until the 2170s, gamedecs were called “solvers”. Following the death of Sam Hawthorne, one of the best of their kind who used to say that “detection ends the case,” detectives for hire who deal with online problems started calling themselves gamedecs.
The labyrinth principle states that whoever is inside the labyrinth cannot conceive its structure. That is why they need someone from the outside with a bird’s-eye view. Such a person must possess three key characteristics:
- Be a good gamer,
- Know basic coding,
- Know human nature.
Gamedecs are called in by gamers who cannot cope with an in-game puzzle or who need help with a particularly difficult part of gameplay, they are hired by clans looking for an extra gun to use in online battles or sought by game developing organizations and corporations who suspect they are being sabotaged by their competition. Gamedecs are hired by celebrities and politicians who got involved in subtle gaming relations and need discreet help in getting out of it.
Every gamedec has a different past, a different story. It’s a profession performed by former doctors, journalists, businessmen, professional gamers, artists, and soldiers. What they all have in common is a similar change in their professional life – they lost interest in what they had previously done, or in all traditional ways of life for that matter. They experienced disappointment, disillusion, they felt deluded, they opened their eyes – each of them describes it in their own way. In Marcin Przybyłek’s books the main protagonist - Torkil Aymore - couldn’t force himself to keep working as a doctor, and the job of a toy seller exposed him to the grime of late 22nd-century business. Major Duncan Powers lost his body on the training ground and started using a military mobrium, which his wife could not handle and left him, taking their daughter with her. Vivien Lacroix, as a journalist dealing with upper-class gossip, ruined several people’s lives. Max Romanov rejected the superficiality of show business, took up cage fighting, and started working as a gamedec.
Galahad on Gamedecs
- – Cal, one more stupid question.
- – Shoot.
- – What do you think about gamedecs? I think it's a fun but completely unneeded profession. A blown-up nothing. Redundant.
- – Oooh, Frank, I disagree! Being a gamedec is a sensible profession.
- – But when something bad happens inside a game, it's easier to just take a look inside and see what's wrong. Such problems should be handled by programmers, analysts, not game—
- – And that's where you're wrong, Frank. Just like my mom when she added cocaine to the cake instead of baking powder
- – She did that?
- – Yeah. In Real Life 2. What a woman. But let's cut to the chase. Games are complicated, right?
- – Right.
- – AIs are watching over them, right?
- – Right.
- – The number of Chi-Tong characters composing them is so great that no one person could ever know the whole program of even the simplest game, right?
- – I'm not sure about that one.
- - Frank, in a brain, in my brain, there's a hundred billion neurons. In yours there's half of that.
- – And?
- – Every neuron has ten thousand junctions on average. Synapses.
- – And?
- – Multiply one hundred million by ten thousand, and you will get a one and fifteen zeros. It's called a quadrillion.
- – So?
- – Your helmet controls a quadrillion synapses. Now take a game like Crying Guns, where there are fifty thousand players on a single server. Fifty times a quadrillion gives you fifty trillion variables per second, and that's just controlling the brains of the people playing the game. When you add their stimulation, neuronal response control, creation of the world with the whole sensory report – i.e., picture, sound, smells, flavors, temperatures – you're going to get a factor multiplying all that by a million. Around fifty quadrillions of variables per split-second.
- – That's a lot.
- – You’re fucking right that's a lot, Frank. We're talking about one server in the living organism of a game adapting to the situation on the battlefield in a simple sensory world based on battles and clans. Can you imagine the array of this world?
- – No.
- – So now imagine that someone throws a cheat in there. Find it.
- - Impossible!
- - Order an AI to find it when the person who implemented it made it so that AI can't define it.
- – That's possible?
- – It's easier than you think. How do you find that cheat?
- – I don't.
- – Exactly. You won't find it by browsing the code. But a gamedec will.
- – How? Gamedecs usually don't know about programming, at least not at an expert level.
- – Gamedecs won't browse the code. Gamedecs look for the people who implemented the cheat and nicely ask them to remove it.
- – Oh...
- – Gamedecs handle people, not code. They observe, draw conclusions, deduce, and analyze. They need three things: to know about games, to know about people, and to have a high IQ. They examine the problem like birds flying over a labyrinth. You're inside that labyrinth, and you're running in circles. So you outsource. You call a gamedec. They come, take a look around, analyze, and—
- – And find the problem.
- – Bingo. And then they say the famous gamedec catchphrase: Detection ends case.
- Galahad on games
- Hosts: Cal Galahad and Frank Wellington
Notes and references