Expect More Video Game Controversy After Germany’s Newest “Real World Video Game” Trend

on January 28, 2013 5:33 PM

As reported by The Guardian [via Kotaku], there’s been a rise in Gamification–applying video game mechanics to the real world–and the newest one in Germany is Camover, which entails destroying as many CCTV cameras as possible. But while Gamification is typically harmless, simple fun, this camera destructive activity isn’t for laughs or simple vandalism: it’s to end the idea of constant surveillance entirely.

After a bomb scare in Bonn last December and the brutal killing of a man in Alexanderplatz square last Oct, a lack of surveillance cameras have been attributed to the crimes’ success. But there are plenty of people protesting the rise of surveillance cameras as well. Perhaps part of a new “Big Brother” paranoia, youth in Berlin have decided to destroy as many CCTV cameras as creatively as possible. The rules of Camover have masked-youth defacing property with a “Camover” grafitti mark while video-recording the destruction of CCTV cameras. Points are given for how many cameras are destroyed, with imaginative methods (like axes, ropes, and pitchforks) rewarding bonus points.

The game’s anonymous creator told The Guardian that the competition will end on Feb 19, 2013, to coincide with the start of the European Police Congress. The prize, curiously, will be rewarded before the end of the competion, with the winner being “awarded” the chance to be at the frontline of a protest happening on Feb 16, 2013. The protest is at a currently undisclosed location, but the creator of Camover warns those who come to  “crouch to avoid the flying cameras”.

The game has been going on for a few weeks, and as many as 50 cameras have since been destroyed. This game arose after a “1984 Action Day” (named after George Orwell’s novel) and documentaries by a group named “Control Berlin” protested the rise of CCTV’s.

Althought the Camover group say that the points and “game” aspect of it are just small components of a serious issue they feel strongly about, one can only wonder how this will impact the media’s perception of video games and their affect on the youth. Keeping in mind the NRA’s recent blaming of gun violence on video games (which led to a meeting with video game representatives and Vice-President Biden) and China’s debate over whether to lift the video game console ban, it will be interesting to see how these events play out.

You can see some footage of the Camover activities below: for more news, stay tuned to DualShockers.com.

 /  Features Editor
Born and raised in video games and "geek culture," Masoud has been bred off of fantasy worlds his entire life and doesn't see anything wrong with that. He loves RPGs (especially TRPGs), sandbox games, the sci-fi genre, dieselpunk, art deco, and anything that allows him to create. Having graduated from John Jay College with a degree in English and a minor in Creative Writing, Masoud hopes to one day pen the same novels, comics, movies, and video games he enjoys escaping into when the real world gets too boring.