Ok, so here’s my brilliant idea for how to market "saving the internet" for Jeff Pulver’s viral marketing contest: Internet Defender. It’s a flash-based video game that highlights the increasing restrictions and bottlenecks being put up by ISPs. A side-scrolling shooter, similar to the classic game Defender, the set-up would be a web surfer trying to find and download a video from the Internet. Sadly, I am no flash developer, so I will just have to describe the game.
You are the Internet Defender, lone internet user flying through the Net. The player could be represented as a computer mouse flying through internet space.
Various enemies would increasingly hinder and harass the
user as he flies through internet space. These might include large content providers trying to grab the
user and direct him toward their content rather than the video he wants
to watch, censors who try and block his progress, and other users racing to
get to the content at the same time.
The rocky terrain represents the level of access to the internet, visually represented as a tunnel bounded on the top and bottom of the screen.
Fly through the net, past various obstacles, twists and turns to finally get to the video you wanted to watch. It would be a pretty silly video, like a cat falling off of a chair or something.
Each level of the game would represent levels of access to the net.
- Level 1 would be "2006: broadband access." Here the terrain would be fairly wide open and easy to navigate, leading the user pretty directly to the video he wants at the end.
- Level 2 might be "2010: Tier-2 broadband access," with open terrain but a bit more enemies.
- Level 3: "2012: Tier-3 access" which is a more "throttled" access to the net, represented by narrower tunnels and more obstacles and enemies along the way.
- Level 4: "2015: Tier-4 access" which would be a very constrained tunnel with lots of obstacles and enemies.
- Level 5: "2020: Tier-5 access" which would be the most constrained of all with hordes of enemies, leading finally to the video, which is behind a wall erected by the ISP restricting access.
- Game Over screen and fade out.
Very old skool retro-gaming. Cheesy midi music and sound effects.
To play you have to deposit quarters in the machine, and as you get to higher and higher levels, the amount of quarters have to put in increases dramatically. At the end, you have to pay $150 for crappy access to the net.
I don’t see how it could fail, frankly.