1. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Character that is under the control of another

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Daydream, May 8, 2013.

    Just wanted to get some ideas of how character could be under the control of someone in a dystopian novel. At this point I have - personality pills, control via propaganda or something through genetic engineering. But I feel like those are a bit weak. The genetic engineering could work but I have no idea how I could make that work. Could someone genetically engineer a person to behave in a certain way or believe in a certain deity? I've looked into this but there's nothing on it.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    You could have a race who have been bred for generations (>10) to be especially docile (there have been studies done on the heritability of docility vs agression in voles), growing up in a strictly controlled environment in which they have been conditioned, either positively or negatively, to do as commanded by whatever authority you want to talk about (think Pavlov's dogs, but there's a lot of other more recent, more nuanced examples).

    You could also chemically control someone, through hormone injection (oxytocin), pheromone spray (search: love potions, US military's "gay bomb"), neurotransmitter-modulating medication (dopamine would work especially well for conditioning, see side-effects of dompaminergic treatments for Parkinson's patients).

    Subliminal mind control hasn't ever been shown to work, so I'd stay away from that.
     
  3. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    How 'bout frontal lobotomys...?

    lobotomy.jpg

    :D
     
  4. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    How advanced is the technology?

    In a dystopian future, the way I see it is babies are implanted with technological devices at birth that structure the pathways in the brain gradually as they mature. If the child does something bad, instead of having to reprimand them, the device will automatically destroy that desire to do that bad action so the child will never do it again. All these devices are controlled wirelessly from multiple facilities around the world. The technicians can make adjustments to individuals--like giving them orders they can't refuse and whatnot. Using this type of technology, they could basically make a drone army, where every soldier acts and thinks the same way.

    Perhaps religious leaders use this technology to create a following for themselves.. You could go into details of the implanted device on a genetic level, but I don't think it's necessary for the reader to know unless it's important to the plot. Just shootin you an idea.
     
  5. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    They could use brain implants. Like a tiny device implanted near the Hippocampus for example.

    *edit: like duke said.
     
  6. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    All our thoughts are the result of chemical interactions, and manipulating these is already a central focus of medication for illnesses like depression and bipolar. Chemical manipulation through food, pills, water, or aerial spraying is your best bet.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The original zombies were believed to be controlled by a voodoo priest, partly by pharmacological means. In reality, the victim's fear and belief in the power of the priest had far more to do with the control than any chemical factors.
     
  8. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    I agree. A chemically induced susceptibility to mindf*** combined with mindf*** is the most effective and believable method of controlling a character. With respect to the latter, from what I know about psychology and history, social influence is extremely powerful because humans are gregarious by nature, and pretty much all dictators have risen to power in part by developing what is called a "cult of personality".
     
  9. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Brainwashing seems to work well.
     
  10. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow thanks for the replies guys!

    I really like the generation idea! May have to look into that one a bit.

    Chemicals or pills would work quite well as my MC could overcome that control through some kind of strong emotion like hate or revenge. Only issue I'm seeing there is that it's a bit generic now.

    Brain implants occurred to me too, but I'm not sure how I could make the MC overcome that control...there would need to be an off switch.

    Oh I also forgot to mention that the control needs to go so far that my MC is 100% loyal to the person.
     
  11. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    In science, you can never be 100% sure about anything. The only way to have 100% loyalty is MAGIC!!!!
     
  12. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha! Touché. That would be the easy way out :p trying to steer away from the that. I think my main fear is doing that then having a 100 angry scientists chasing me down and yelling at me for getting the theory wrong! My best mate would be one of those...he hates when a movie or novel doesn't follow the laws of science -.-
     
  13. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Lol, well you can't please everybody, especially scientists. Your late certainly sounds like a good resource for scientific accuracy though. Good luck!
     
  14. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure that this is true.
     

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