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

Playing ‘Battlefield V’ on an $800 Nvidia card is stunning. And disappointing

‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to use Nvidia’s ray tracing support, now available with the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards. The feature can, in an ideal scenario, make the game look better, but the performance hit may not be…
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

A beginner's guide to gaining XP and catching them all in 'Pokémon: Let's Go'

Pokémon: Let's Go is a mashup of traditional Pokémon RPGs and Pokémon Go. Still, new mechanics will make it feel somewhat new for even seasoned trainers. To help you on your journey to Victory Road, check out these tips and tricks in our…
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Mobile

Google Play Store offers big movie and game discounts for Thanksgiving

With the holiday season upon us, Google has unleashed a torrent of tempting deals in the Play Store. You can snag top games for up to 80 percent off, rent any movie for just 99 cents, and get discounts on books and apps.
Computing

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Deals

Best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Gaming

Get yourself a legendary bird or Mewtwo with our 'Pokémon: Let's Go' guide

Returning to the Kanto region in Pokémon: Let's Go means that you have the chance to catch the original four legendary Pokémon. Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres, and Mewtwo all have their own special lairs, and we'll tell you how to find and…
Gaming

It’s alive! Latest ‘No Man’s Sky’ update revives dead worlds

Visions, the latest update for No Man's Sky, revives previously dead worlds and creates new types of creatures that are sure to work their way into your nightmares. The update also adds downed freighters to scavenge.
Gaming

25 awesome indie games you should be playing right now

These days, some of the best video games are made by independent studios. Here our 20 of the best indie games, whether you prefer grueling dungeon crawlers or otherworldly, meditative adventures.
Gaming

Exclusive Mew is gone forever if you delete your ‘Pokémon: Let’s Go’ save

If you purchased the optional Poké Ball Plus for Pokémon: Let's Go, make sure you don't delete your save file. Doing so will erase the exclusive character Mew forever, and you can't get it back.
Gaming

Joy-Cons too small? Check out these super Nintendo Switch controller alternatives

The Switch is the most versatile console around, and that means you might need a controller that's different from the norm. In fact, even the standard controller is a best weird. Here's our favorite Switch controllers.