Thursday, September 15, 2016 by Mary Wilder
Like something out of a science fiction novel, a new computer game teaches its players how to spy on the citizens of a supposedly free society.
Aptly titled Orwell, the video game is set in a universe not unlike our own, where a series of deadly terrorist attacks lead the federal government to enact a series of measures that strip away the freedoms of the public, allowing those in power to spy on their every move. Players take control of monitors that allow the government to spy on everyone around, which of course leads to all sorts of issues.
An extremely topical subject, Orwell is clearly inspired by whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as well as the abundance of terrorist attacks that seem to leave everyone on the planet on edge. Rarely do video games hit so close to home when it comes to political corruption, so it is admirable to see independent game developers taking on such a touchy subject. Osmotic Studios truly appear to be the freedom-fighting libertarians of the digital gaming world.
In an interview with Polygon, designer Daniel Marx stated, “We want to warn people to be careful about their data … But at the same time it’s really a shame we have to do that. The internet is a great achievement. It should be there for people to speak out freely and to share ideas.”
While it seems like a fun and amusing gaming experience, it is extremely important to look at Orwell through a much more serious lens. This brand of government spying isn’t a work of fiction. Perhaps it is exaggerated for entertainment purposes, but it has been proven that the NSA is actively snooping through all of our private information for no logical reason. A direct infringement of our constitutional rights as American citizens, this behavior deserves to be demonized and exposed.
If the federal government is allowed to continue treating us as if our lives exist solely for their entertainment, things could become progressively more frightening and dangerous for us all. During these tumultuous times, we have a duty as American patriots to make our voices heard and demand that the Constitution of the United States be upheld — by everyone.
Orwell will be released through Steam at the end of 2016. Perhaps learning how the government operates will teach gamers how to combat breaches of privacy. For our own safety, it could be extremely beneficial to learn just how the powers that be operate. Video games, oddly enough, could save us all.