The creepiest game I’ve ever played is not some big budget AAA game developed on Unreal Engine 5. It’s not some state of the art VR game looking for jump scares. It’s a free game that doesn’t even show up on Steam. It’s Character Creator from far-left indie developer Colestia.

Character Creator is a terrifyingly simple experience that blurs and blends the line between reality and gaming. The interface is a friendly, colorful form with text at the top reading “Your goal is to use the Internet to discover as much information as possible about the individual below.” Then the game gives you a randomly generated name and a city in the United States. Your goal is to track down as many details as you can about your target. 

After you’ve found as much as you can, you turn in your results and the game gives you a rating. While you search for details like age, sexuality, income, and even personality traits, it gets pretty freaky. Just knowing that someone else out there could be searching for you in the same way and realizing just how easy it is to find intimate details about someone’s life gives me the jeebies big time. 

Colestia

I would not dox Diana from Memphis, but I could.

The game is a commentary on privacy, asking players to engage in a system they have unfettered access to but might not necessarily use on their own. There’s also no way for the game to know whether your answers are accurate. You can put in false information and get an “excellent” rating if you fill out all the fields. But playing the game the way it’s meant to be played and tracking down a stranger’s Linkedin, Facebook, and public government records is pretty scary (and pretty fun).

The developer is a self described “indie dev making far-left games”, although “far out” is a fair descriptor as well. Their far left political leanings are evident in games like scotty goes to centrelink, where you attempt to navigate the unemployment assistance hellscape as Australia’s former PM. If you’re feeling creepy you can download the game and check out the developer’s other trippy offerings on their itch.io page.

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