The idea for my piece would be based around the themes of privacy, censorship and government surveillance. Set in an authoritarian world, the protagonist (you) has received a new computer for his / her birthday. The protagonist is required to perform some setting up with the computer in order to be granted full access. The gameplay kicks in from here.
My piece would be a digital game, in which you follow a set of instructions published by the government where you have to browse through different sections of the webpage (kind of like the internet feature on GTA 4), and do different things like setting up accounts, joining wifi devices. It is up to the player whether to follow the instructions or not. The decisions and choices made will have an impact on the final results for the player. The overall objective of the game is to see who follows the instructions and who doesn’t, and the end result will show how much of the privacy of the players have been breached by the government.
I’m inspired by many of the art games that we’ve seen in class that are related to contemporary issues such as the September 12th game where you have to bomb terrorists but actually also end up bombing innocent civilians, thus bringing up the many controversies that arose from the Iraq War. I like how the gameplay is totally different in that game because to win, players must not drop any bombs, unlike in normal games where killing is always the answer. I feel like my piece would have this unconventional aspect to the gameplay as well, because players can decide for themselves, and decide whether or not to follow instructions. I’m also inspired by the Dada movement in Berlin, where many of the art pieces were directly criticising the government and the Great War. My piece is similar to the ideas and motivation behind the Berlin Dada movement too, because I believe that my piece is also a form of criticism against the government and their breach of privacy. Privacy and government surveillance are becoming an issue these days, especially with the recent problem of net neutrality. I want to address this issue through this game and hopefully raise awareness about the importance of internet freedom and privacy.