Amber Waves

Card Game • Santa Cruz, CA • 2017
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Amber Waves is a cooperative card game for four players. It teaches strategies of obfuscation, as described in Brunton and Nissenbaum's Obfuscation: A User's Guide to Privacy and Protest. Players are pitted against a rules system of registry surveillance and identity policy in this silent game of dystopic survival.

The game uses a modified deck of playing cards and plays (somewhat) similarly to trick-taking games like Whist or Hearts. It encodes specific techniques of obfuscation, such as filling a channel with noise, collective anonymity, identity shuffling, and production of false positives that players use to confuse the game's scoring system. The game was designed specifically as a teaching tool for familiarizing players with strategies that they and their communities can use to protect their digital information footprints.

Amber Waves was created at UC Santa Cruz's jam site in 48 hours for the 2017 Global Game Jam.

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