By Minh Nhat Nguyen, The Onion
With the recent explosion in the online streaming market, industry giants Twitch and Netflix are currently in multilateral talks to obtain streaming rights for council proceedings within the United Nations.
Citing recent developments in international politics, representatives of the streaming industry are now engaging in attempts to diversify into a lucrative new genre: real-time political drama.
“For the first time in a while, the United Nations is eager to explore new avenues of cooperation. We’re thinking of sponsoring competitive tournaments with prize pools, placing emphasis on player ranks like Best Delegate or Honourable Mention, and implementing secure encrypted peer-to-peer team chat in our councils,” said one UNICEF spokesman.
The new strategy may seem an unorthodox one, but insiders across industries have hailed it as uncharacteristically forward-thinking.
“I think video games and movies are on the way out”, said one streaming industry representative, while staring despondently out an open window. “We’ve seen the signs. Young people just don’t feel as engaged when they have to follow linear narratives and abide by oppressive game rules.”
International diplomacy in its infancy was considered by many to be multi-tiered and convoluted, but recent innovations in the industry have allowed for politics to achieve mainstream popularity.
“Endless, divisive and petty conflict in politics is no longer confined to America,” a recently laid-off Netflix Originals employee commented. “You see real international diplomats and delegates contradicting themselves in the same sentence while railing about how no one is doing anything. I mean, we just can’t compete with something with so much conflict on so many levels that it has no consistent plot progression.”
Netflix Originals, intended to be Netflix’s foray into self-produced movies and series, has been bashed by critics and viewers alike for its lack of realism. Most notably, the House of Cards series was cancelled after 4 seasons due to plummeting ratings.
“I was on the script team for House of Cards. When we wrote for a new season, we’d try to keep the characters, their motivations and stances logical and consistent while moving the plot along. But real diplomacy doesn’t work like that. No one has consistent stances and plot progression better resembles a neverending weekly sitcom. It took far too long for us to realise that politics doesn’t really follow any sort of controlled structure, and that there’s no underlying agenda under it all.”
Such a revelation might prove earth-shattering to much of the public, but insiders find no surprise.
“A committee of our best writers would spend late nights scheming new plot points in this kind of controlled universe, but they just couldn’t keep up with all the captivating real-life material that was coming straight out of the news. Every week something new would show up in the news that would force us to reevaluate next week’s plot, and it still wouldn’t come close.”
Former House of Cards star Kevin Spacey puts it best. “Sometimes I forget my lines and say them wrong, so we have to reshoot a scene. In real politics, if you forget what you’re supposed to say or what your stances are, it’s easier to just spout off a random claim and make everyone believe it was what you wanted all along.”
Even video games are not safe. Blizzard Entertainment declared bankruptcy earlier this fall, after consecutive quarters of poor sales, and Ubisoft is banking on its upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unmoderated Caucus title to stave off the same fate.
“Our games have rules crafted by extensive player feedback to ensure balance, skill-based play and meaningful progression. That’s quite rare in the gaming community, if I do say so myself” says one former Blizzard executive, between shots of Vodka mixed with drain-cleaning fluid.
“Democracy and political cooperation does not. You have a bunch of guys forcing and filibustering their own agendas. Sometimes there’s one or two trying to nudge everyone towards relevant and constructive discussion. The rest just stay quiet and vote whatever everyone else is doing. By the time discussion starts getting anywhere, it’s lunch break.”
“If it weren’t so depressing, it’d be quite hilarious to watch.” At the time of publishing, this former executive is in critical condition.
The diplomatic industry is certainly taking pride in its newfound popularity. In a time of wavering trust in international institutions, many believe this to be the only way to ensure the continued existence of international diplomacy. Most importantly, such initiatives would make up for drastic budget cuts by member states.
“We believe this is a great opportunity,” comments the US ambassador to the United Nations. “Not only will it give us more exposure and transparency with the public, it opens up a lot of new revenue streams.”
“It shouldn’t just end at competitive play. Councils should be open to all, political outsiders and budding student amateurs alike. We’re currently undergoing talks to attract private sponsors for joint defense initiatives and working with Kickstarter to create a new crowdsourced solution for passing resolutions.”
“Of course we might have to eliminate a lot of unpopular councils, but the possibilities are endless. The current United Nations structure is too formal to have fun with friends or encourage competitive play, which detracts from the core principles of the United Nations.”
“All in all, it’s a great new Model the United Nations should work towards.”