“#PRISOM is the digital equivalent of Orwell’s 1984.”
#PRISOM is a game developed by Mez Breeze and Andy Campbell for the 2013 International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR2013), in conjunction with the University of South Australia University’s Wearable Computer Lab and the Royal Institution of Australia. #PRISOM was originally commissioned as an AR game where a player is set loose in a Glass City under infinite surveillance.
Every one of the “#WhatDoYouDo” scenarios that you’ll encounter when playing #PRISOM stem from real-life scenarios, including the ongoing unconstitutional treatment and [in some cases] incarceration of those keen to expose the nature of heavily surveilled and overtly monitored societies.
“#PRISOM is the digital equivalent of Orwell’s 1984.” – James O’Sullivan, Director of DHSI Atlantic.
“Thanks to #PRISOM, I am now successfully indoctrinated and prepared for the total loss of my civil and personal rights and a life of continual subservience. Seriously, this took a bit of navigation…but the payoff is definitely worth it. The environment is easy to get into, especially with the supporting audio, and once I got into the hang of what I was supposed to do, and where to find the test stations, all went smoothly. I was actually entranced by the whole experience, and felt that I just HAD to get to the end. This is [a] most ambitious work…with a piece that delivers a political message within the framework of a game that is actually no game at all – it’s the serious business of where do we all go from here. Nice work. I hope this converts some minds. It should do.” – Alan Bigelow, lecturer in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University.
“#PRISOM…examines online realities since Edward Snowden’s exposure of classified documents as evidence of the participation of companies like AOL, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Paltalk, Skype, Yahoo!, and YouTube, as well as wearable technologies, in the NSA’s PRISM data-mining program…#PRISOM ask[s] us to question the normalization of domestic surveillance as a part of everyday life in the context of a country whose international clout has been historically anchored to its democratic principles.” – Dale Hudson, New York University Abu Dhabi.
“Despite the release of multiple documentaries and what seemed like a social sea change in public perception on the issue of surveillance, there is still remarkably little discussion on this topic. #PRISOM is not only a general reminder of the wider culture of surveillance, but by situating this work in the context of a videogames, it raises questions specifically about ludic surveillance and how game analytics, data capture, and digital distribution naturalize panoptic culture. Videogames are uniquely positioned as training devices to assist with the internalization of surveillance as a rule rather than exception and I think this work does a good job of foregrounding that conversation. This is a fine contribution to the series.” – Electronic Literature Organisation Conference Panel Review.
“#PRISOM is fantastic…[I] managed to get through to a little secret platform where I was able to Eyejack some drones. Hilarious-disturbing and thought-provoking stuff throughout, and tons of awesome phrase-coinage. Also, I like how the one scenario has the border control agents demanding my social media passwords taking my phone, tablet AND video game device… now THAT’S where I draw the line!” – Jeff Watson, The Situation Lab/OCAD University.
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