Bystander Effect is a same-room casual multiplayer game in which players participate via web-browser in a psychology experiment displayed on the common screen. The game tries to emulate the psychological phenomenon known as the “bystander effect.” In an emergency with only a few people around, people will quickly take action as they feel more responsible. However, just like the theme of LD40, the more people around in an emergency, the less likely any single person is to act.
Confronted with a dire situation, each player has a decision to make: should they or shouldn’t they call the police? In order to call the police a player has to open their window. This action is visible to all other players. Calling the police starts an invisible countdown that will end the game. Points are awarded to those players who aren’t bystanders and who call the police. But if a different player has already called the police, significantly fewer points are awarded.
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