Presenting: The Watchers!

by Kate Raynes-Goldie

Exciting news! The Gaming Privacy project has wrapped, and we are pleased to announce the outcome of our efforts: an iPad + board game called The Watchers which will be launching as a public beta May 15, 2012. The game will be available in two versions: a freely downloadable DIY kit, or a fully assembled version, which will be sold at cost. In addition, the app component will be available both as an iPad app, and a web app for use on PCs and laptops. The web app version will be available for play on May 15th, with the iPad version to follow shortly after. All the game components are Creative Commons licensed for anyone to reuse and remix!

The Watchers takes place in an inter-dimensional town called Union City. Tasked with protecting the city is a secret arms-length government agency, made up of the top agents from each dimension. The team must investigate a number of mysterious events surrounding the town’s hat-based augmented reality network, known as Hatnet. Through these investigations, players learn a number of real-world privacy concepts as well as developing their critical thinking and risk assessment skills.

The game was created by David Fono and Kate Raynes-Goldie at Atmosphere Industries in collaboration with an amazing team of Canadian children: Chris, Jordan, Kiri, Mary, Mitchell, Peter, and Tinson. We would also like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the research and logistical support of the EDGE Lab at Ryerson University.

We’re also excited to announce that we will be presenting the game at a number of events leading up to our official launch on May 15: