Pill: Let's meet on the deep web & tell each other secrets (a tiny game)

Let’s meet on the deep web and tell each other secrets is a tiny browser-based game about intimacy, trust, and establishing connection while being anonymous. The game will tell the story of a person crossing an ocean to meet a stranger, where a player can choose to be either seeking or offering connection.

The narrative and choices a player can make will borrow their structure from the way secure rendezvous points are established in the Tor relay system, which support anonymous hosting and viewing of websites. It’ll support a real-time, multi-player mode that’ll connect two people who select different roles to play the game with each other.

This game is about finding drama in the dances of request <> response that our devices make.

A tiny bit about me: I’m an artist and technologist who’s spent the last few years learning about self-hosting websites for my own creative practice. I teach people about Tor (sometimes known as “the dark web” or “the deep web”) as a way to demystify how parts of the internet work and offer tools and frameworks for more creative, personal, and DIY internets. I also make weird drawings, readymade sculptures, and interactive software. This game is an idea I’ve been playing around with and would be really excited to invest in within the larger context of Summer of Protocols.


Could you share any links to your teaching or drawing materials, if that’s okay? I’m really drawn to your work. :smiley:

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ah, yes! my workshops don’t have a complete, stable home online yet, but i can share doodles, snippets, and recent projects:

  • https://self-host.lizz.website/workshop-excerpt.pdf is a short excerpt of slides for a self-hosting with tor workshop i taught last year
  • https://self-host.lizz.website is an expanded version of that ^ workshop demo that i’m building out as an introductory technical guide
  • an invitation is an experiment in considering a website as a collection of files on your hard drive that you invite your friends over to; you can visit the folder party that i’m hosting on my computer now

love this topic! Would love to collaborate if you’re open to it.

that is very kind, ty! i hadn’t been thinking about this work with collaboration in mind, and i could see the scale and dimensions of it growing if it became a collaborative effort. i’d love to hear more about your work and interests if you’re open to sharing! have you worked on games?

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hi hi!

regarding work & interests: I got pretty interested in privacy as a topic when I worked at Zcash (privacy focused crypto currency). What surprised me is how little people understand 1) different types of privacy (there’s like seven!) as well as the history of privacy or how privacy as a social and legal construct has evolved over time and in different cultures. “Digital Privacy” is a hot button topic, but I don’t think we’ll see any meaningful advancements on it if people don’t first evaluate/ understand the layers behind “analogue privacy.” For example - there are differences between secrecy, confidentiality, selective disclosure, personally identifiable information, etc etc.

While at Zcash, I did several presentations on privacy. Here are two examples - but happy to share more.

I thought of submitting a PILL app for a privacy-focused zine, maybe it could be a companion piece for your project.

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hello!! i’m also loving this game with Tor! intimacy while being anonymous :slight_smile:
i’m also thinking with anonymous visits and travelings (proposed a vpn related project) as well as self-hosting a lot! would love to chat more!

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ahhh this is neat to see! i’m going to have to watch some of the zeal community calls, a few familiar faces. there’s a lot of thoughtful research on anonymity and privacy that i haven’t read yet! i wouldn’t consider myself an expert in this area at all.

and i love the reference to postsecret. i used to follow it every sunday when they posted, right around when the project published their first book. i’ve also been thinking about it as another kind of entrypoint / metaphor for exploring a “protocol drama” of tor and anonymous rendezvous.

as someone who’s started working with tor as a way to self-host websites, having privacy and anonymity built into the tool has been really useful, and it’s something i talk about and help create transparency around in my workshops.

i also recently saw an artists talk from the parks staff (who collaborated on https://dumpling.love) in which they talked about using anonymity in their small group collaborate to foster a sense of safety and a healthy culture of honest feedback. it’s something that really struck me! and i’ve been noodling about it while thinking about this game.

anyway, thank you for sharing these lovely links! i will take a look for your pill zine proposal too!

ooo thank you! i will take a look at your proposal too. (: i love the idea of finding protocol dramas in vpns and the kinds of narratives it could lend itself too.

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looks great. hope to see your game

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