Net neutrality: The video game
With Thursday’s decision by the FCC to repeal the 2015 Obama era net neutrality rules intended to bar internet service providers from manipulating, slowing, and possibly blocking traffic on their networks; the internet is in a state of turmoil.
The highly debated political topic has been enough to generate a slew of messages to the FCC, and if the recent posts on Reddit are any indication many are approaching the situation as an all out war for the internet.
Retro Yeti, a team of graduate students from the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts and Engineering program created a fast paced game called 404Sight where you fight an evil ISP intent on throttling your traffic.
Launched in 2015 shortly after the now overturned net neutrality laws officially took effect, the dust was still settling. Wireless and cable industries were already beginning what amounted to a two year battle; a battle the pro net neutrality lobbyists are now preparing to take on.
While it isn’t a new game, it serves as an eerie reminder of a time much like one society now faces.
The game itself is a 3D parkour running game in the same vein as Mirrors edge and Assassin’s Creed. Set in an electric pastel themed cyberspace where bandwidth is a way of life, the player is tasked with traversing a course through a world full of hazards while constantly being harassed by an omnipresent ISP.
The evil service provider is actively trying to impede the players progress via bandwidth throttling drones and slow zones. Luckily to aid in evading these threats and stay online the player is equipped with a “ping” to help find “fast lanes”.
Hidden green stripes represent these “fast lanes” which boost the players health and accelerate the speed at which the character runs in order to get through each level as quickly as possible.
Only by successfully navigating the dangers of each level can the user hope to beat the evil ISP and save the internet.
404Sight is and always has been free in support of net neutrality and is available on Steam with a “Very Positive” review rating.
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