The game being played is not '1984', it is 'Foundation'.
It is for steering entire societies, and this works far better on the boring people who think they have nothing to hide as they are the easiest to model
With a single powerful player, you get a consistent, but slightly false narrative. If you have lots of players though, you get multiple competing narratives and the news stops making sense.
Is partly why I still think Gibson is one of the people who got it closest to the mark.