Ever wanted the thrill of working for a shadowy government organization? Need to Know is an upcoming game where you take action spying on the average citizen, analyzing their life, and seeing if they’re a threat. The game’s preview boasts of chapter-based storytelling, and meaningful moral quandaries, as it comments on something that we’re all familiar with in the internet age: government surveillance.
The concept is pretty interesting, but seems like a logical idea in an age where being scrutinized by the government is a common concern. Though it seems like most of the time, this topic is dealt with through comedy. The prying policies of the NSA has been spoofed on everything from The Simpsons, to memes compilations on Buzzfeed. Sometimes you have to laugh to deal with the very real threat of invasions of privacy right?
Need to Know will apparently have an increasingly dark and disturbing narrative, which could provide a very serious look into this issue. But it won’t be all serious, as the kickstarter preview notes that there will be some laughs, as well as more emotional and intense moments.
Putting the responsibility of people’s lives into the player’s hands isn’t something new in gaming, but I can’t think of an instance where it will be done quite like it is in Need to Know. From what’s been shown, the civilians are represented through cards of information and internet search histories. It’s a weird mix of letting you know overly intimate details, yet being completely impersonal. It’s easy to do the right thing when you’re face to face with a game character, but when they’re just another name in a list? With all the tough choices that are sure to be on the line, I’m already wondering if I’ll do any better than Big Brother.
Need to Know’s kickstarter isn’t live yet, but it goes live tomorrow, February 9th.