The Privacy Game, by Jessica Floum and Ellen Garrison

Playable here. Hosted on philome.la, a free host which only requires the author to have a Twitter account for publicity purposes.

This Twine creation is best described not as a game, but as a minimally interactive public service announcement. In it, you play… yourself, probably, during an average day at work. Almost all decision-making points present you a choice of a variety of named online services- GrubHub, Uber and Buzzfeed being some of the names mentioned- to get through the day. After making the choice, it mentions, almost smugly, how much information that choice reveals about you.

Some might say this game was deliberately made generic so that the average player could relate to the events described. However, the game is so non-specific, it seems more like a widget than a true telling of a story. Even if it intended to reveal the true extent to which we reveal our personal details to faceless corporations, then the one-size-fits-all ending surely defeated it. The result is a somewhat starchy moralistic illustration- not even a tale- of privacy wrested from us.

This game could have been made into something with a clear call to action, or even an exploration of the pros and cons of giving up your privacy to conglomerates. Its scope could have been broadened to the privacy we do not voluntarily relinquish. It could even have been made into a government conspiracy thriller, because those seem to be in the rage nowadays. This game could have been much more, but the authors seemed content to stop at the moral of the story without actually telling much of a story.

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