Orwell: Keeping an Eye On You (2016) is a narrative game where you play fictional research using a surveillance program called Orwell. Through a series of episodes, you are tasked with using Orwell to help solve mysteries like the bombing of a public plaza. To do this you trawl websites and documents in the game for clues.
As the researcher, you view security footage of a critical event in the world. You are then called upon to find information about what happened by trawling websites for data chunks. You learn to glean information from different sources: a birthday from a social network; an address from medical records; someone's political opinions from a blog. This investigation walks (and sometimes crosses) the line between crime prevention and unethical surveillance.
You submit this information to an adviser, who interprets what you've found and decides what action to take. At first, it seems that you have little power in the system, but it soon becomes apparent that you can sway decisions by what data you provide.
As you sift through information making choices about what is pertinent, you are embroiled in the machinery of control and sentencing. It becomes emotionally challenging as you dig through personal information to find incriminating evidence.
There are two stories in the Orwell series:
Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You - investigate a series of bombings.
Orwell: Ignorance is Strength - investigate threatening phone calls and kidnapping.
Orwell is a unique game, not only for the intriguing surveillance and believable world but how it powerfully illustrates the thin line between fact and fiction. There are rarely good or right answers to choose from. Instead, each choice is a compromise between repercussions and some semblance of ethics. It cleverly coerces you to make decisions and do things you wouldn't normally do, and then feeds them back to you to see the consequences.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Orwell: Keeping an Eye On You 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.