Data Dealer is a free game exposing mass surveillance and privacy breaches. The goal of the game is to mine as much personal data as possible from Internet surfers and sell it to the best paying corporation or government.
The game has been funded by the City of Vienna government in Austria and KickStarter backers. It is released under a Creative Commons license that allows anybody to view the source code and share it with others. Data Dealer plays in your browser using HTML5, a fairly new mark up language that speeds up browser gaming and does not crash like Adobe Flash.
In order to educate people about marketing techniques that tricks them into revealing personal details and raise awareness about personal data being sold to third parties the developers have carried out background research to make Data Dealer as accurate as possible to real life, at the same time gaming has been devised to minimize addiction.
When you first start the game you will see a quick step by step introduction for new players. At the beginning you own a million personal profiles and $5.000. To advance levels you have to set up schemes that will allow you to get your hands into people’s personal data, this can be done legally setting up a social networking site, search engine, etc, or it can be done illegally buying data from disgruntled employees.
Once you have collected a few thousand data profiles that include details like sexual orientation and political affiliation, you need to sell the data to the highest bidder, like an insurance company or government agency, depending on what profiles you have massed.
With the money earned selling personal data you can hire lawyers to protect yourself from complaints and psychologists to help you convince people disclosure more deep seated private information. As you progress in the game and set up more data collection schemes new tycoons will pop up bidding for the personal profiles you mine and make you wealthier.
Data Dealer has 20 levels with 20 missions and 250 items comprising bogus companies and cities, with a database machine to analyse captured profiles. As an example on how to collect data in the game, people’s sexual orientation can be gathered setting up a dating site and learning about someone’s shopping habits can done with a loyalty card scheme.
At he moment Data Dealer is in private beta, the final multi gamer version should be released in a few months.