‘Privacy traders’: learning about privacy while playing
On Friday 11/11/11, right after 11:11 am, a senior class in Trento’s Leonardo Da Vinci high school witnessed an innovative experiment in between playing and learning. For the first time in Italy, over twenty students who were barely 18 participated in a role-play game called ‘Privacy Traders’, developed by Urustar for the <ahref Foundation.
Thanks to a Motorola sponsorship and a playful setting, we were able to bring and discuss in a classroom one of the most delicate aspects of modern life: individual privacy and personal data management.
For one full hour the classroom was transformed into a public arena with four different social networks fiercely competing with each other. Each student became an intelligence agent hunting for the personal data of his/her classmates, in order to increase the information assets of his/her own network. There were a few surprises, along with cooperative behaviors and a certain dose of cynicism.
Why this game?
Because a “serious game” is not an oxymoron, but rather the essence of innovation itself! It actually was an exciting experience for everybody involved: students, teachers and our <ahref team (Enrico Bosio, Emiliano Barbagallo Chighizola and Giancarlo Sciascia) – in charge of enforcing the game rules, providing hints and suggestions, detailing the current regulations on individual privacy and personal data management.
Even beyond our rosier expectations, the teenagers showed feverish and enthusiastic involvement: the final bell ring fell on deaf ears, everybody was so fully immersed in the heat of the race.
After the game was over, many questions and doubts emerged about real life circumstances related to the simulated situations. These questions led to a fruitful discussion on the importance and value of personal data in today’s networked society. Indeed, the overall goal of this game is to increase young people awareness about the usage of social networks with regard to personal data dissemination.
Any Italian high school interested in experiencing our Privacy Traders game can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to bring it into any other classroom. And stay tuned for more news about this unique and challenging game!
<ahref Community Manager
Our special thanks to Prof. Dossi and School Principal Tomasi of the Leonardo Da Vinci high school: their interest and sensitivity was key to a very successful experiment.