Friday, July 4, 2014

Character Interview - Characters from Status the Game by Vincent Annunziato

Character Interview
Status the Game
by Vincent Robert Annunziato

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The following interview takes place in a town hall setting between the author and the students of Madison High -- the characters from the YA Novel, Status The Game

Wave Entertainment Disclaimer: The following is a short recorded event in which Author, Vincent Annunziato had the opportunity to talk with several high schoolers from Madison High. Please be aware that the situation surrounding this event was very traumatic and the comments set forth are in no way indicative of Wave Entertainment’s view of computer gaming. Wave Entertainment strictly set out to program a MMORPG (Massively Multi-Player On-line Role Playing Game) for entertainment purposes. What people do outside of the game is not something we can control.
-- Mike Winston, Owner/CEO Wave Entertainment  
Vincent: I wanted to thank all of you for coming today. I have had the opportunity to discuss the events of this tragedy in detail with each of you. For the purposes of this interview I was hoping that maybe we could allow for some healing as I believe you all need to have a chance to talk as a group in front of your peers. No matter what…, your story Status The Game is out and published. I’m not concerned with what the court or the government says and if I have to go to jail over it, so be it....

With that said I need to introduce our guests. I have with me today Donny Catrano, Jenny Canton, Charlotte Ann Taylor and John Hauser. I want to personally thank all of you for coming today and joining me to discuss Status.

Donny, I would like to start with you. You were very popular at school and the Captain of the football team for Madison High. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got hooked into the game?

Donny: Yeah, I can. Jenny will tell you. The last thing I wanted to do was play a computer game. I’m kinda’ busy with sports and school and I just didn’t have time.

Jenny: He didn’t want to play. I pushed him into it. None of this would have happened if I didn’t start our cave.

Donny: Don’t say that. It would have happened anyway. I… well I chose to play, especially after these guys got themselves into trouble with Timmy. But yeah. Jenny got us into Status.

Vincent: Jenny?

Jenny: I hate talking about all this. I hate games now. I don’t think I will ever play again. At the time…. At the time, it seemed right. I was head cheerleader and one of the most popular at school.

John: You were the most popular Jenny. What are you talking about?

Jenny: Okay, yeah I was the most popular. So when the game told us we could make money and become famous I couldn’t resist. I was dating the hottest guy in high school football and I was a head cheerleader, so I saw money signs in my eyes. When we first put the cave together for Status I thought we would sky rocket. We had all of the football players and c
heerleaders in with us.

Vincent: You said we?

Jenny: Well… Me and John. Mainly me.

Vincent: John? You were in on the beginning? You were part of the beta test for Status?

John: Yep. I always wanted to be a part of things Donny did. When
Jenny asked me I had to say yes. She was Donny’s girlfriend.

Vincent: Why did you have to say yes?

John: Well, uh…

Charlotte: It’s okay, John. Just say it.

Donny: Go ahead Haus. We’ve all been there. You changed. You can tell ‘em what it was like.

John: Okay. I never got anywhere on my own. I just got made fun of.

Vincent: A big guy like you?

John: As a kid I was big… and fat… and slow. Kids made fun of me all the time. Especially, Timmy Dunn. I hated him.

Charlotte: Nothing to worry about anymore Johnny. Nothing to make fun of.

John: Thanks, hun. Not anymore. So, yeah I played Status, because that’s what I wanted. I wanted Status more than anything and the only way I could get it was to be a follower. If Donny was doing it, I was too whether or not I agreed.

Vincent: Thank you for sharing John. Peer pressure is tough that way. Charlotte, you have been on both sides of this can you share with us some of your thoughts.

Charlotte: I love my Johnny. Status brought me him, so it wasn’t all bad.

Crowd: Awww.

Charlotte: It was just crazy that summer and when school started it was out of hand. I was on the team that played against these guys and we were vicious. At first it was fun. Spread a rumor. Take over a position. Anything that gained us Status in life scored more points in the game. I don’t know how it happened, but I exploded and went viral. At least at Madison High. I thought Status and Timmy were going to launch my modeling career. Unfortunately, everything got out of hand. Timmy almost destroyed all of us. He had me under his thumb too.

Vincent: Most of the people in the audience have played Status. Can you describe what got out of hand?

Charlotte: Everything. Everything, Vincent. I mean friendships meant nothing. I couldn’t trust anyone and anyone I tried to trust I wound up having to take advantage of or use. The rumors were horrible. I really didn’t make it easy on Jenny.

Jenny: No, she didn’t.

Crowd laughs.

Charlotte: To be honest if it weren’t for the three of them, I don’t know where I’d be right now and Mr. Brooks too. They saved me.

Vincent: I invited Bob Brooks, but he declined. He was a good teacher for all of you, yes?

Crowd: I’m here Vincent! I’m here!

Vincent: Bob? I thought you weren’t coming.

Bob: How could I not come to this? You screwed up my life by publishing this book!

Vincent: I don’t think so. I think I had to get the real story out.

Bob: At whose expense? Mine, theirs? What are you trying to accomplish? People died over this, careers were lost, lives were destroyed and all you can think of is yourself. Look at these kids. They were vibrant successful teens on the way to proms and dances and college. So now they are sitting here in your little town hall so you can play counselor and make a living off of their expense. And for what Vincent Robert Annunziato? A stupid game. A stupid, stupid, stupid game.

Vincent: I wrote this book so that history would not repeat itself, Bob. You know that and you agreed to everything after I interviewed you.

Bob: I don’t care anymore about what I agreed to. I really don’t. This game destroyed everything in its path and all of you should in this audience should be aware of how subtlety dangerous this game is. If Status ever comes on-line again it will destroy you too. I’m done and if there is anything I can do to get this book unpublished, chase away a movie deal and put Wave Entertainment out of business, I will do it. I promise you!

About the Book
Object of the Game: Achieve the highest status possible through point accumulation.
High scores will be considered for an end-of-year award. 
Synopsis: Status™ is an online game where users gain individual status points for everything they do. Players are highly encouraged to join a group to gain peer status and if possible, develop a following. The higher the player’s status, the higher the player’s rank. Status equals wealth and privilege. A player who successfully reduces the status of another player automatically generates status points. 
Everyone who plays Status may play the free version as a zombie (players without economic clout). Zombies have limited access to the game. Full game playability may be obtained through subscription. Subscribers must rise up the economic ladder by accumulating points in order to reach the rank of strider. Striders are humans who can join caves and spend money as well as make money. Striders who are not careful and do not maintain credible Status points may return to the zombie level. 
Celebrities will climb up the Status ladder quickly. Players who are quick with wit, enjoy marketing activities, and are able to hold a crowd’s interest, may find this path best. Celebrities gain power of persuasion and can affect a wide range of people. But as quickly as celebrities can climb up the ladder, they can fall just as fast. Status also factors in image points. Whether a player is bad or good, fast or slow, the image he or she displays must be kept constant. Changes in image will reduce a player’s points. Celebrities may reduce the magnetism of a politician or other celebrities by creating rumors that detract from a player’s image. 
Politicians have the most authority. They retain power in group settings, but they need celebrities to help their status. Although celebrity egos may make them think they have power, the politicians wield it. The policies, laws, and access to caves make politicians the most dangerous players in Status. The political path is governed by attributes of magnetism. Where celebrities focus on image, politicians must sway people to keep them motivated to do their bidding. They lead groups and are responsible for defensive as well as offensive tactics within their respective caves. Politicians may be unseated by stronger politicians who are not part of their cave. Politicians have been known to bring down celebrities by creating tasks that hinder the celebrity image, and they can bring down other politicians by initiating successful takeover.
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  1. TF glad you liked it and good luck in the contest! Stephanie TY so much for letting me be a part of this special event. You have a cadre of fine authors and I am humbled by it all. Keep up the hard work and remember.... Stay Strong! Stay Loyal! :)


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