I’ve been a bit coy about the project so far, but now it’s time to open up a bit and tell you what the game is, and importantly, how you play it.

Top Secret is an interactive fiction game about the NSA and Snowden leaks. It’s a game about secrets, encryption, privacy, and the ethics of surveillance.

It’s played in real time, over two weeks, by email.

Edward Snowden

Play by email?

You may be a bit confused at this point. So I’ll explain.

You (the player) will receive and reply to real emails from the characters in the game over the course of two weeks. You read and reply to them just like any other normal email you receive, directly from your inbox.

I’ll describe in more detail how this works soon, but for now, all you need to know is that to play the game, you only need an email address.

What’s the story?

The game begins on Thursday 23rd May 2013. The Director of the NSA has learned that the Washington Post has received Top Secret documents and wants you to identify the source of the leaks.

Your team will be providing you with intel and surveillance reports on the targets you select. You’ll work together to a common goal and gain their trust.

What your colleagues don’t know, is that you’re also spying on them.

The Director believes there is a mole in the team and has tasked you with surveilling them to find out. How willing are you to pry into your own colleagues’ private lives? Will you protect your friends or betray them? It’s up to you.

What’s next?

There’s still a lot to be done. I plan to do a Kickstarter soon to raise funds to complete the game. And if you’re still confused about how Top Secret is played, don’t worry! I’ll be explaining the email mechanics in a lot more detail in the next blog post.

Thanks for reading.

James


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