Play as a MI7 Hacker in this Cyber Espionage Simulator
For the first time on November 4, 2015, the controversial Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (also known as the “Snooper’s Charter”) was discussed in the UK Parliament. From the time the bill has been introduced into the Parliament, the Snooper’s Charter has been widely condemned for its many overstretching conditions, which include needing communication service providers to preserve users’ internet connection records for one year, letting law enforcement officials to assess these records without a warrant, allowing law enforcement officials to carry out “targeted equipment interference” (i.e., hacking into a device to access its data), as well as compelling service providers to help in the intervention of user data.
As far as the future of digital privacy rights are concerned, the Snooper’s Charter is definitely a bad sign. The game was created because of the “Draft Investigatory Powers Bill,” legislation that will allow the UK to snoop in its citizens online browsing and mobile history.
Created by Rebelephant, Mainlining, a computer-hacking adventure game questions techno-ethics and whether it is acceptable for an organization to have the power to investigate personal data. Mainlining features a mix of dark and dry humor and gameplay that echoes nostalgic point and click adventures.
Luke Keighran, Merge Games Managing director, commented, “ As soon as I played the Mainlining demo and discovered the assembled team behind it I knew it was a game Merge had to sign. Mainlining’s got a fantastic mix of hacking simulation and narrative adventure that will appeal to PC gamers, I have no doubt the game will be a big success.”
The entire game takes place on the simulated desktop of the character’s computer. You may play the role of a newly recruited Secret Intelligence Service MI7 agent (the now obsolete British secret service organization which existed before MI5), that works within the remit of the Blu Pill Act (a bill that allows the powers that provided unrestricted access to all online personal data). The main objective of the MI7 player is to ensure perpetrators’ arrests and the provision of sufficient evidence, in order to ensure the longest custodial sentences possible. If you move in too quickly, you may miss leads linking your case to much higher profile cyber-criminals. Similarly, if you act too slowly, your suspect may detect you and escape.
Rebelephant’s Mainlining made its first public appearance at the PC Gamer Weekender event in London on March 5th and 6th. A single level playable teaser is available now and gamers can vote for the game on Steam Greenlight. To raise more funds to release the game by October 2016, Rebelephant launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £15,000 by March 26, 2016.
Mainlining will be launched on PC in October 2016 with a price tag of $9.99 / €9.99 / £6.99.