University of Utah student create successful video game to inform public about net neutrality.

Battle for Net Neutrality in New Game: 404sight

Net neutrality is one of the hottest topics today, and a team of 12 graduate students is helping bring attention to it in an unusual way. They created a video game, 404Sight, as part of the top-ranked Entertainment Arts and Engineering program. Its success has exceeded their expectations.

They released the game for free in spring 2015. Since then, it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times; it has more than 1,000 reviews and an impressive 83-percent approval rating on Steam, a popular video-game publishing platform; and it has been featured in publications across the world, including “Wired Germany,” “Verge” and “Motherboard.”

“We weren’t sure where this would go,” said Tina Kalinger, a producer. “We were just students. But we published, and we received great feedback, and it has accomplished everything we wanted to accomplish.”

Set in cyberspace, players use parkour moves to smash through obstacles dished out by the evil Internet service provider to slow down the Web. The object of the game is to move through each level as quickly as possible, while overcoming data caps and slow lanes in your way.

The students worked hard to make a game that was both fun to play and informative — “we didn’t want to deliver a message at the cost of the game and vice versa,” Kalinger said. Download and play the game to see if they succeeded.

Find this article and a lot more in the 2016 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.

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