The Syndicate DAYZ Presence
DAYZ is a persistent world, zombie apocalypse, "shooter" game ("mod") built on top of the Arma II engine. Although plagued by hackers and cheaters, The Syndicate established a presence in the game. A few dozen Syndicate members took up the role of a "survivor" in a hostile world where, at first, zombies seemed like an insurmountable force. Soon one learned how to deal with the zombie hordes and the true danger was other players. The general rule in DAYZ was that there were no friends (outside of your immediate clan) in DAYZ and that proved true time and again as nearly every encounter with another non-Syndicate player started with a gunshot and ended with at least one corpse and sometimes with both people bleeding out and dying. DAYZ was not a stellar game but it was a very interesting social experiment. It was an open world. There was tons of "loot" you could collect. You could own property in the form of tents and vehicles and thus store that loot and horde vast collections of weapons, ammo and other supplies. There was constant danger as another player could have you in their crosshairs at any time. And while some occasional short term cooperation would arise, players generally regarded each other as a source of supplies or entertainment and not as someone else to help them survive against all odds. At the time of this history article, a stand-alone version of the game is being made that addresses the cheating issue and is going to attempt to address the need to work with other players. It will be interesting to see if that dynamic can be fostered without being forced.