Video Games

A Hand With Many Fingers

Archival research gameplay

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Have you ever wanted to piece together an international conspiracy with nothing but a bunch of newspaper clippings, a corkboard, and some red twine? If you're reading this, there's an above-average chance you have, in which case you should check out A Hand With Many Fingers.

This indie computer game puts you in the shoes of a researcher spending a few late-night hours alone (or are you?) in a CIA archive. The gameplay is actually just doing archival research: flipping through card catalogs, retrieving cardboard boxes from the basement, and pinning the clippings you find onto your corkboard.

The incident you investigate is the real-life 1980 death of an Australian banker, whose associates included former CIA agents and U.S. special forces soldiers. You uncover a story of Cold War dirty laundry as you use the tidbits you find to pursue new leads. The game approximates the feeling and satisfaction of doing actual investigative work fairly well. It's short enough that it doesn't wear out its welcome, and it's only $5.

For those who like to connect dots, A Hand With Many Fingers scratches that very particular itch. It even manages, with impressively minimal effort, to be spooky. You might find yourself looking over your shoulder as you play.

NEXT: Brickbat: Slight Mix-Up

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  5. > Have you ever wanted to piece together an international conspiracy with nothing but a bunch of newspaper clippings, a corkboard, and some red twine?

    Uh no. A resounding now. I see a show or movie with the hero piecing clips together with twine and I just want to change the channel or walk out of the theater. It’s delusional.

    Conspiracy thinking is endemic to human beings, who evolved to see patterns where none existed. People who see tigers where there are none live longer than those who don’t see tigers that are there. Thus it’s a survival mechanism. But that does NOT mean the imaginary tiger is real! We’re no longer cowering in the dark hiding from tigers. We’re civilized people and do not need to fear tigers.

    It’s stupid that libertarianism is chock full of conspiracy nuts, to the point that the LP even nominated a couple of them to run for president. But the conspiracy mindset is antithetical to individualism and liberty. Most conspiracy theories assert that an evil action is evil merely because it is secret. Which is bullshit.

    Conspiracy theorist unwittingly claim that government power is Good, so long as it’s not wielded by shadowy insiders. One even told me this to my face, as I asked if the Income Tax would be fine if only I could show her the law that authorized it. The answer was, and I directly quote, “Yes”.

    Plus, stringing twine between newspaper clippings is batshit insane.

    p.s. Okay, some fictional grand conspiracies can be fun. I enjoy a lot of Robert Ludlum. But I also love Tolkien, and I don’t confuse fictional fantasy for reality. Elves don’t exist, 9/11 was not an inside job, and there’s no tiger hiding in my azaleas.

    1. On a more serious note, you are so correct here. The things I want to ask a Conspiracy-ologist are:

      If so many people are in on this horrific plot to rule the Planet, why hasn’t someone inside either slipped up and spilled the beans or got paid off to reveal the plot?

      If the plot is so widespread and so filled with evil people, why haven’t these evil people bumped off those who supposedly reveal them, the Alex Joneses, the David Ikes, the Jeff Renses?

      How did you get access to this esoteric knowledge that the rest of us poor schlubs don’t have?

      Aren’t the worst evils in the world and the most sinister people wanting The Big Blue Marble all out operating in broad daylight, making themselves known for all to see? “If only Rome had a single neck.” –Nero. “Bring me the horizon!”–Genghis Khan. “First Germany, tomorrow the World.”–Hitler. “We will bury you.”–Khrushchev.

      And my final question to Conspiracy-ologists:

      How do you go through life thinking that everything is out of your hands???

      1. So many people die unexpectedly from accidents, yet it never occurred to you that they could have been staged.

        The cabals exist. You just need to look deeper.

  6. Damn! I thought this was something like The Beast with A Million Backs.

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