Mundane Alternative to Mind Control

I wanted to get some feedback for an idea I had which is already mostly fleshed out and about 50% written, but which I am unsure to what extent it can be considered a story about hypnosis or mind control.

To be brief: it is a story by which an unseen controller/antagonist uses their possession of an item that the protagonist/target of control covets as a means of coercing the protag’s behavior and breaking down their inhibitions.

To be less brief: the protagonist is a “hot nerd” type playing an online card game based on Hearthstone. There are two rules of the game important to the story:

  1. Victorious players are allowed to take one card from their defeated opponent’s deck
  2. After any match, regardless of outcome, the participants can start a rematch, but only if they both select “yes” to the option.

The protagonist squares off against a mysterious opponent known only as “GMAN”. GMAN plays with a deck comprised entirely of weak cards, as well as one ultra powerful one which is the rarest card in the game and worth hundreds of real-world dollars on the market. The protag covets this card, and knows that it is his to take if he can beat GMAN only once.
Despite the disparity in their decks’ power levels, GMAN deals the protag a humiliating defeat by using expertly calculated strategy. Then, rather than take one of the protag’s cards, GMAN offers him a rematch, in which the protag loses a second time.
Every time the protagonist loses, GMAN offers him another rematch but sets a series of increasingly naughty conditions in exchange for his participation. After the second loss, the protagonist must turn on his webcam and show his opponent his face to be allowed to play again. After the third loss, he must remove his shirt on camera. After the fourth loss, his pants, etc.
And the whole time the protagonist is complaining about this treatment, but the GMAN tells him that he’s free to walk away after every single defeat the protag suffers. But that would mean walking away from the rare and valuable card, which the protag covets. And the protag is too stubborn to give up at the chance to defeat GMAN and take the card for himself, which means that GMAN is free to coerce ever more extreme exposure and humiliation from his opponent in exchange for staying in the game.

I hope that synopsis is clear enough. My one issue is the fact that there’s no hypnosis or mind control in the traditional sense. The closest thing I had in mind would be that after one defeat, the protagonist has to swallow a pill with powerful hypnotic and aphrodisiac effects in order to be able to play yet another round, all while he’s exposed on camera.

What do you think? Is there anything in the series that you’d like to see done differently?

I dont have much time right now but i can say that slow, focused changing can be super sexy. Its not mind control but its domination and its straight to gay. Especially if they come to enjoy the submission.

It sounds something akin to Yugioh; in that series you had items like the Millennium Eye that trapped the souls of Seto and Mokuba Kaiba and made them his puppets and the Millennium Rod that Marik used to make people his Rare Hunters and turned Yugi’s friends against him. So that represents one possibility. It’s a storyline of maybe the player offers up something of himself. The motif could work but it normally works better with the players in the same space. Swizzington’s Slave Academy and the scene where Joe and Todd play chess in Joe’s mind with the pieces being parts of his mind is a great example of the stakes of the game that I think you’re trying to achieve. It’s just a matter of how you do that with a card game being played over a computer.

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Edit: The first part is up. You can read it here:

@New_Guy_in_Town Funny you should mention Yugioh. Since I actually don’t know much about Hearthstone beyond the game’s presentation, I based the rules of the fictional card game “Kilnrock” mainly on the parts of Yugioh I watched when I was about seven (especially “activating the enemy’s trap card.”
My goal in writing the two principal characters was to set up the contrast between the protagonist Alex (prone to immature behavior and fits of anger) with the unseen antagonist GMAN (mature and in control of the situation, but with a pronounced naughty and mischevious side). Specifically, the avenue by which GMAN gains more and more mental control over Alex is through repeatedly beating him in the game. With every loss, Alex grows in his stubbornness, anger, and desire to avenge his damaged pride, which makes him susceptible to more and more extreme conditions for staying in the game.
There’s something about that power dynamic that I found compelling even though it doesn’t contain any supernatural elements. The hardest part was sorting it into a category on the site. I chose “Drugged” because it might contain elements of that in a subsequent chapter, but I don’t want to give too much away.

@A_Voyeur_Fan Thanks for the invite; I got to read it this morning. I really like it. I think it works and is very interesting. It’s worth being on here if only to take things in a different direction and the great writing behind it.