Monday, March 10, 2014

Nothing to Hide, A Game Inspired by Govt. Surveillance

Nothing To Hide is an anti-stealth game that carries a not too subtle message. The protagonist is a teenage girl named Poppy, who lives with her father in a world constantly under government surveillance. Poppy must sneak out of the house and across the city but without alerting the government's numerous surveillance tools. While a typical stealth game requires the player to stay out of enemy’s sight and security cameras, Nothing To Hide, being an anti-stealth game, requires Poppy to stay in sight of the cameras at all times. Wandering outside their view for longer than a few seconds gets her killed and she has to start again.


The game takes a dig at government data mining and surveillance programs that often tries to justify encroachment on privacy using the flawed argument that a person should not have worries about government mass surveillance if he or she has nothing to hide. After all, only a criminal would try to be outside government surveillance, according to which Poppy is liable to be shot if she so much as puts a toe out of line.

The motto "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear" has been used extensively in the closed-circuit television program practiced in cities in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Eric Schmidt, the then CEO of Google was quoted saying "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.”

The game even pokes fun at social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As you walk around, Poppy’s thoughts all appear in the form of social network posts for all the world to see, while you try to find ways around obstacles and solve simple puzzles.

The game is currently available as a demo while the developers are trying to raise $40,000 through crowdfunding. Nothing to Hide is open source and all their art, code and music is open to the public. If the funding is successful, you can expect an alpha version to launch in June, a beta version in September and the full game in December.


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