If you were watching the debacle with Edward Snowden and the NSA’s PRISM and thought “huh, that sounds like an interesting game,” then let me introduce you to a game called Top Secret. A game about spycraft, secrecy and the ease with which government agents could be looking through your email.
Top Secret, currently undergoing funding on Kickstarter, is a real-time narrative game played through e-mail. The game allows you to seek and gather information by querying, through your email provider, different email addresses that the game supplies as well as decrypting information utilizing the methods Snowden used during the breach.
For the uninformed, the Edward Snowden and case for PRISM is a complicated one that I would do ill justice to attempt to paraphrase. Ultimately, it was a case about how much information the United States government is allowed to access from their citizens and who is allowed to speak up about it.
Ultimately, Top Secret states that its goal is to give players a greater understanding of the difficult concepts behind the Snowden case, and the breaches towards the NSA and their seizure of American data. The game is about making important choices over long periods of time — its a game meant to be played over days rather than over a few hours.
This is a Kickstarter, which means that as it stands the game is unfinished. While the developer promises that there is a working prototype, the funding for the project will be used for content creation, with roughly 70% of the remaining time to be spent on writing. This is something to be aware of if you’re looking at investing your money into the Kickstarter, In the spirit of open-source, the developer of Top Secret does intend to release the source code for the game upon completion so that other creators can use the information to create their own email-based games.
If you’re interested, you can check out more about Top Secret on their Kickstarter page.