After a long stint of not playing any video games, it seems that I’ve got my mojo back. I know a lot of people use gaming as a form of escapism, but I find that actually I have to be in the right kind of mood to immerse myself in a new world. I’m still not quite in the zone yet for elaborate RPGs, but I’ve enjoyed playing short games like the horror Neverending Nightmare, and most recently, Orwell.
In Orwell, the player is a newly recruited member of a surveillance company called Orwell (aptly named, of course), whose job is to keep a watchful eye over the people of the Nation after a recent terrorist attack.
Cassandra Watergate is the prime suspect of the attack, and the player must select which snippets of information to upload, drawing from sources such as newspapers, social media and university websites. What gets uploaded directs the outcome of the game, including who lives and who dies – no pressure!
As a fan of dystopian fiction, the idea of playing as Big Brother seemed really innovative to me. It is actually a very immersive experience, and I became quite dedicated to my role; although I didn’t feel like I trusted Orwell, I wanted to impress my boss and do the best job I could. It was also interesting to see just how easily I could build a profile for someone based on information put online – job, location, interests. It is a good reminder to always be cautious of what you put on the Internet – you never know when Big Brother might be watching!
Although I bought Orwell in the Steam sale, it is more than worth its usual £6.99 price tag. There’s also a free demo, so those who are curious can try before they buy!