Smokescreen is a privacy game for kids, it runs them through a series of clever online missions that serve to explain how information disclosed on social sites like Facebook can come back and bite you in the ass:
Horror stories about social networks are legion. From teenagers who announce house parties online only for hundreds of gatecrashers to show up and wreck the place to people who've been fired over pictures they posted or Facebook status updates when they're supposed to be ill... and far worse things can and do happen too. But online social networking isn't going away and age restrictions don't really keep young teenagers off websites, so Channel 4 has come up with Smokescreen, a game that teaches players about the potential pitfalls of posting their every thought and action online...
The game, created by Six to Start, uses familiar-looking social networks to tell a story. Players interact with characters in the game to solve a mystery, and while the problematic aspects of social networks are highlighted along the way, it's fun rather than didactic. So in one mission, you use 'Gaggle' search to find the 'Fakebook' and 'Tweetr' accounts of a girl your friend fancies, then dig around to see where she's going out that night, what she'll be wearing, and what her interests are, so that your friend can better chat her up. Each piece of information that she shared seemed totally innocuous until you put it all together and use it to stalk her: it's scary how easy it is, and how totally plausible.
Game neatly sidesteps social networking horrors (Wired UK)
(Disclosure: My wife, Alice Taylor, commissioned Smokescreen for Channel 4)
More than 40 years ago, Eric McMillan, a renowned designer of children’s play areas, and his team created the ball pit, those troughs of brightly-colored plastic balls that children swim around in. (Ball pits also may be a giant petri dish of pathogens but, hell, the kids love ’em.) Apparently, McMillan–who went on to be […]
On Thursday, the Oxbow Prairie Horizons School in Saskatchewan, Canada staged their annual student Christmas concert. The show, “Santa Goes Green,” pissed off parents in the town where oil is one of the major industries. Here’s a description from the Santa Goes Green sheet music: Melting ice caps, global warming, surfing reindeer! The North Pole […]
Last month, Propublica published a characteristically blockbuster piece on the use of "quiet rooms" in Illinois schools, especially in special ed programs: these are a euphemism for solitary confinement, and their use is so cruel and grotesque that Propublica's reporting prompted state level action to ban quiet rooms in schools and reform the policy on […]
It’s no secret that when it comes to building your brand online, nothing beats having a powerful and streamlined website. BoxHosting Website Hosting makes it easy to create an extensive online presence with room for 500 domains, 500 10GB email accounts, and unlimited desk space—and you only have to pay $45 for life. In addition […]
There’s never been a better time to work as a web developer—regardless of whether you’re looking to work with a big company or as a solo freelancer. The Essential PHP Coding Bundle will get you up to speed with one of the world’s most popular and powerful web development scripting languages, and it’s currently available […]
There’s overwhelming support for clean energy, and the planet is giving us more reasons to invest in renewable power sources with every passing year. Even in the most inhospitable areas, wind and solar can provide a good chunk of our power, if not all of it. So why aren’t we all taking advantage of it? […]