Edward Snowden digs this mass surveillance sim, Need to Know

Surveillance is an important issue for every person living in the digital age, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with the topic. That’s why the first release from Monomyth Games is a surveillance thriller simulation game called Need to Know. Filled with juicy civilian details, Need to Know questions your moral fiber and asks just how much citizen privacy you would sacrifice to get ahead in your field.

Need to Know is a story-based game that sets you up as a spy for the fictional Department of Liberty. “You must spy on citizens, pick apart their private lives, and determine how dangerous they are. How you’ll use this information is where the real excitement begins.” Some players are expected to climb the ranks of the Department of Liberty by completing missions, gaining higher clearance levels and therefore access to even more methods of surveillance and classified information. But players can also get crafty with the information you collect, using it to help resistance efforts or underground groups, leaking reports to the media, and becoming tried and true whistleblowers – if you dare.

That’s probably why Edward Snowden endorsed the game with one simple message on Twitter: “Art imitates life.” The game presents issues of mass government surveillance with a nod towards the dramatic but an emphasis on accuracy. The world simulation aspect of the game makes it possible to use your probably illegal, mostly immoral surveillance techniques for personal gain, financial benefit, or for the good of humanity. But in addition to Need to Know’s moral quandary, the game also serves up global consequences to suit a player’s choices: “Negative choices can cause bombings, false arrests, corrupt bankers escaping prosecution, or even (gasp) your own demotion”.

The creators of Need to Know are hoping to launch the game through Steam Greenlight. While their application is pending, Monomyth is also preparing a DRM-free download for Windows, Linux and OSX. Future versions of Need to Know could include a geo-specific, real time mobile game, but Monomyth hasn’t made any promises.

Since Monomyth Games has started raising funds Kickstarter, the campaign has already passed the halfway point of its AUD $29,000 (about USD $20,000) fundraising goal. A pledge of about USD $11.50 will get you a DRM-free digital copy of the game, and you also kick off at Clearance Level Ten when it’s released. Backers that pledge USD $18 get early access to the game and start playing with Clearance Level Nine, so as the pledges go up it looks like clearance levels increase. If you do buy your way to higher clearance through the Need to Know Kickstarter campaign, you can expect to start playing the surveillance simulator by the end of this year.

Gaming

The Fix PUBG campaign is over: What’s next for ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’?

The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team declared that the Fix PUBG campaign was over. Here are the results of the three-month campaign, as well as the future plans for the multiplayer Battle Royale shooter.
Gaming

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.
Gaming

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Gaming

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

Microsoft is reportedly planning an Xbox One without a disc drive for 2019

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a new Xbox One model without a disc drive in 2019. The console will be significantly cheaper than other Xbox One systems, including the Xbox One S.
Gaming

‘Spyro Reignited Trilogy’ proves nostalgia only goes so far

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a faithful and beatiful remaster of the PlayStation classics, but its dedication to retaining the original experience ultimately hinders the experience. Spyro was great in the late-'90s, but it hasn't aged well.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Gaming

Stock up on Switch accessories this week with these awesome Black Friday deals

Black Friday is right around the corner, and it's the perfect time to stock up on accessories for your Nintendo Switch. Here are the best Switch accessory deals on Black Friday, from controllers to cases and more.
Product Review

Make friends. To survive the wasteland of 'Fallout 76,' you're gonna need 'em

Fallout 76 brings the nuclear wasteland online and invites you to hop in with your friends. It’s fun, and a new direction for the Fallout franchise, but it’s not without its faults.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ director sets record straight on game’s progress

Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura clarified some information about the game's progress. There were earlier reports that the RPG was put on hold in favor of Kingdom Hearts III, but that is apparently not the case.
Features

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Gaming

‘Blockchain gaming’ startup gets $16 million in Series A funding

A gaming startup, Mythical Games, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to work on their concept of blockchain gaming. The aim is for the startup to develop games for the PC, console, and mobile markets.