360° Coverage : Watching You Play: Can A Dystopian Video Game Help Us Better...

2 Updates

Watching You Play: Can A Dystopian Video Game Help Us Better Appreciate The Value Of Privacy?

Mar 4 2014, 7:54pm CST | by

The biggest challenge for privacy advocates is getting people to appreciate why privacy matters even if you don’t have anything to hide. Those of us who feel strongly about the topic tend to lean on...

Filed under: news


33 weeks ago

Watching You Play: Can A Dystopian Video Game Help Us Better Appreciate The Value Of Privacy?

Mar 4 2014, 7:54pm CST | by

The biggest challenge for privacy advocates is getting people to appreciate why privacy matters even if you don’t have anything to hide. Those of us who feel strongly about the topic tend to lean on arguments Daniel Solove made in a seminal article back in 2011. But there’s other ways to explore the thesis that take us beyond privacy theory. Dystopian fiction is a powerful vehicle for considering the consequences of society placing too much value on transparency and over-sharing. So are dystopian video games, as is evidenced by the demo of Nicky Case’sNothing to Hide: Any Anti-Stealth Game Where You Are Your Own Watchdog”—a crowd-funded and open sourced endeavor (both code and art).

“Nothing to Hide” takes place in a fictional setting underwritten by a tongue-in-cheek 2044 copyright held by PanoptiCorp. It is a nightmarish hellscape perhaps brought about by Silicon Valley’s most obnoxious dreams of social engineering coming true. The opening scenes thrust us into the life of Poppy Gardner, a despondent female teen protagonist who decides to run away from home to avoid saying or doing things that bring down her father’s “Popularity Metrics™.” Even though this is a blatant social media satire, you can’t help but feel uncomfortable watching the story unfold as a panicked response to an eerie “#DaddyDaughterMoment.” The tension doesn’t let up, either. Every step of the way is disquieting as you move the angst ridden Poppy through areas guarded by constant surveillance—places that literally will kill her as soon as she moves away from the camera’s ever watchful eye.

My colleague Andrew Phelps, Professor and Director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity (which I am an affiliate of), has incredibly high standards for games, and was duly impressed by “Nothing to Hide.” “This game is interesting for a couple of reasons,” Phelps said. “First, it focuses player attention and awareness on the uncomfortable sensation of being watched, tracked, and monitored. But even more interesting is that the process by which the game was made and released is a commentary on secrecy and private data. It’s interesting to see media content and the process of its production married together in both form and message.”

Alberto Camacho, an undergraduate game design major at RIT, heaped praise on the game’s formal features:

“The aesthetic is fantastic. It has a clean flat design with modern typography lining the walls, and makes excellent use of responsive environment animation that overlays walking without an eerie sensation of being watched. And, it was smart choice to build the game on technologies that allow it to be played on a computer’s web browser and downloaded across multiple platforms. Overall, I think Nicky is an extremely talented developer who has an interesting message to share.”

It is too early to tell whether playing “Nothing to Hide” will impact how people view privacy and look at any number of “Poppies” who feel like insecure outsiders in a world that increasingly wants to translate public confessions into oppressive data trails. But it is a nice change of pace to think about games as tools for heightening our awareness of surveillance problems, rather than functioning as platforms for spying and…well…spying.

Source: Forbes Business


7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore


7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedie ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore


Don't miss ...


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Chinese company signs Rio 2016 uniform deal
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 23 (IANS) Chinese sports apparel maker 361 will be the official uniform supplier for the Rio 2016 Olympics, the organizers have said.
Ukraine lacks sufficient gas for winter
Kiev, Oct 23 (IANS) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has said his country lacks sufficient natural gas for winter.
Obama 'cautiously optimistic' about Ebola
Washington, Oct 23 (IANS) President Barack Obama Wednesday said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the Ebola situation in the US, as his government announced a new programme that will actively monitor for 21 days every person coming from West African nations hit by the deadly virus.
Khamenei wants less reliance on oil
Tehran, Oct 23 (IANS) Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the country's officials Wednesday to formulate plans to cut Iran's dependence on oil revenues and manage the economy on the basis of the domestic capabilities.

Latest from the Network

European Champions League standings
Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) Following are the European Champions League standings for Groups E to H after Tuesday's matches (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, against, points), according to Xinhua...
Read more on Sport Balla
Rogerio set to break Giggs world record
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is one victory away from earning his fourth Guinness World Record by eclipsing a mark held by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. The 41-year-old will...
Read more on Sport Balla
Ryan Reynolds can't keep his hands off Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds was ''really sweet'' to Blake Lively at the Angel City Ball. The couple, who got married in September 2012, made their first red carpet appearance together in New York City on Monday night (10.20.14) since...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Kris Jenner doesn't know who Bruce Jenner is dating
Kris Jenner has ''no idea'' whether Bruce Jenner is dating her best friend. The 58-year-old reality TV star, who split from the Olympic gold medallist last October after 23 years of marriage, claims she doesn't know if...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
When Rihanna dressed like 'Harry Potter'
New York, Oct 22 (IANS) Singer Rihanna was spotted here in a Harry Potter style costume. She wore the wizard-like get-up while heading for a business meal here Monday, reports mirror.co.uk. The 26-year-old combined a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Germany raises humanitarian aid to Iraq
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany has pledged a further 20 million euros (about 25.5 million dollars) in humanitarian aid to Iraq, the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. The additional funds are immediately...
Read more on Politics Balla
India calls on Israel, Palestine to resume peace process
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) India has called upon Israelis and Palestinians to resume the peace process as "dialogue remains the only viable option" to address the issues confronting the region. In a brief statement...
Read more on Politics Balla
Airstrikes help ground forces fight IS: Pentagon
Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Kurdish forces are in control of the majority of the Syrian city of Kobane despite efforts by the Islamic State (IS) to take the town, a spokesperson for US defence department said Tuesday....
Read more on Politics Balla
Palestine, Israel urged at UN to halt unilateral initiatives
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Tuesday called on Palestine and Israel to overcome differences and halt unilateral initiatives that fuel mistrust, so as to pursue long-term stability in...
Read more on Politics Balla
China urges Israel to create conditions for peace
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) Chinese government has called on Israel to create necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks with Palestine. At an open debate of the Security Council on the situation of the...
Read more on Politics Balla