Empire Me Interactive
Empire Me – Be Your Nation!
You don’t like the world you live in? Then go and build your own!
About the website:
The interactive web format Empire Me! picks up where the associated documentary film “Empire Me” ends: You don’t like the world you live in? You are unhappy with the local and global structures that surround you, along with their values and goals? Then go and discover the global phenomenon of counterworlds to find out which micronation best corresponds to you and your personal ideals. Become an „online citizen“ and share your vision of a better tomorrow with your facebook or google plus friends.
We send our users on a journey through a „naturalization test“ on various topics, p. ex. lifestyle, governmental forms and love life. Each topic is accompanied with a short interview sequence, transferring the abstract, theoretical approach into a real world scenery. In addition, each featured micronation has an own customized area with video footage, high-quality pictures, illustrations and background information, creating a strong visual impression of the respective counterworld. Next to the playful approach via the naturalization test, an informative layer with an exposé on the topic, information on the film project and a map displaying further micronations complement the web format.
The home page confronts the user directly and in an uncommon way with essential questions of life, (p. ex. “Is money important for you?”). This marks the entrance to the user’s journey through the naturalization test. The usabilty stands out due to leitmotiv of the test, which guides the user through the website. He can leave the test and get lost in the site to come back later and continue where he stopped – when he changes his mind about a topic, he can change the answers afterwards. As a result he is invited to become member of the micronation and in the same time a part of the interactive map.
The design – consisting of anarchic and haptic illustrations – is the visual bridge to the film. The basic element of the world map is the web optimized artwork from the movie’s graphic department. The more-than-fullsize background image invites the user to discover intuitionally and interactively the micronations around the globe via a drag and drop function (world map) and get an impression of how many real inhabitants and how many online-citizens belong to each nation.
About the topic:
Don’t we all sometimes dream of breaking out of our daily life and starting a totally new one outside of all conventions and constraints? The dream of utopia, of a better life in an earthly paradise, has long been a common dream of mankind, one that is always reappearing in continually new forms. To someday be the king of one’s own island… But: the ever-tighter and inflexible principles of life inherent to the globalized world order hardly permit any alternatives or visions.
There is, however, a phenomenon that fights against this: the founding of counter-societies. In pursuit of an ideal culture of coexistence, hundreds of do-it-yourself nations are creating their own little worlds. Micronations, eco-villages and secessionists pursue alternative ways of cohabitation with actual territories and communities.
Of course, these alternative societies and counterworlds appear colorful, charming and quirky at first glance, but a closer looks reveals them to be sympathetically eccentric declarations of war from ordinary people who feel marginalized by the neo-liberal world order. With their realpolitik foolhardy actions, they show the viewer (with a twinkle in one’s eye) ways to no longer feel like a powerless, tiny cog in the post-democracy machinery – in accordance to the motto: Empire Me – Be your nation! If you feel out of place in this world, build your own!