Most of you are probably already familiar with the "show, don't tell" rule, it's at the centre of this topic. It is not enough to simply TELL that the world is presently oppressed in some way, one must SHOW the oppression affecting the world continuously. Let's brainstorm some ways we can SHOW oppression in a world, instead of just having the characters/narration mention it Prices going up and budgets going down to accommodate overtaxing and tributes Evil army patrols, or regular law enforcement corrupted Closed borders Scrutiny entering/leaving cities Food shortages due to raids/pogroms/tributes Normally good/harmless animals corrupted or transformed Education/Combat training suppressed An increased amount of homeless bombarding people walking down the street for money/food Outright bickering/fights in the streets that go unnoticed Freedom groups with secret meetings Prostitution Buildings that are rundown beyond repair Common folk moving trudging about in a lack luster manner with their eyes lowered to the ground. Public executions of suspected 'dissidents'. People expected to praise their 'glorious' leader. Professional crime becoming an acceptable profession instead of a last resort/oddball job. Private investigators replace police detectives, for the most part. Assigned careers/lifestyles. Massive wealth gap and vastly noticeable difference between what constitutes "rich" and "poor." Regular announcements dogging criminals or showing how the governing force is still in control. Curfews. Heavily armed police groups, more than necessary for regular law enforcement. Lack of monetary currency to all but the rich. Barcoded/otherwise tracked citizens, required from birth-on. Big banners that say OBEY Either everyone wears the same uniform, or wear rags. Super efficiency at the expense of basic human rights. Propaganda taught at school or in the workplace.