“You don’t know me, but I know you…”
Launching today is the online alternate reality game, Smokescreen. The game revolves around a fictional social network called “White Smoke”. A new game has appeared on the network and White Smoke owner, Max, is worried that this game, “Rumour Mill”, is a front for something much more sinister. The player will be charged with uncovering clues and following the trail to find the truth behind Rumour Mill. This is accomplished by using a selection of tools that most teens will be familiar with, such as instant messenger, blogs and the White Smoke social network itself.
Smokescreen is a cutting-edge game about life online. We all use Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and MSN to keep up with our mates – and we’ve all heard the stories about parties on Facebook being mobbed, or people getting stalked on MSN. The question is, what would you do if it happened to you?
Over 13 missions, Smokescreen follows the story of Max Winston and Cal Godfrey, two mates who’ve set up an exclusive social network called White Smoke. After Cal’s involved in a car accident and falls into a coma, Max is left to run the site on his own. White Smoke becomes huge, but success brings big problems. Each mission sees you explore the world of White Smoke, and find out who you can trust – and who you can’t.
Six to Start, in association with Channel 4, have developed a game that is designed to both entertain and educate people in the risks of social networking. As we become more and more comfortable with our online persona’s, we offer more information about our lives to anyone who may be reading. How can this information be used, and how can we avoid it, are questions posed in this game. Although aimed at the older teenagers, I feel that many of us could benefit from this lesson. Only the other day, I passed in the street a group of 60 something ladies discussing their Facebook profiles. Perhaps they would benefit from this lesson in the pitfalls of sharing personal details. With social networking being in the news on a regular basis, and not usually in a positive way (Burglars using social networks to target prospective victims was an article I was reading recently), maybe we should all learn the lessons taught by SmokeScreen.