Video Games

Panopticon Online


The tongue-in-cheek video game Nothing to Hide-the name obviously pulled from a common blase reaction to government surveillance-is built on a panopticon-inspired platform. Players are monitored by cyclops-eyed cameras and must control their behavior to please unseen overseers who overreact to minor infractions. If the character steps out of the view of the devices, he is summarily executed-because clearly he's a criminal with something to hide.

"Thank you for participating in your own surveillance," and other Orwellian quotes cover the walls. Spooky-and slightly groovy-music guides players through a dark maze of gray floors exposed by spotlights, forming a smart platform for labyrinthine puzzles.

The up-and-coming dystopian game is an unmistakable jab at the National Security Agency and state-sponsored, surveillance-induced social engineering. Unfortunately, the inescapable jeers and biting comments sometimes water down, rather than reinforce, that message. -Alyssa Hertig