"The cryptanalyst has two cards in her hand, so there's nothing to do"
February 8, 2013 5:58 AM   Subscribe

A card game to teach computer security. [d0x3d!] is the creation of some Naval Postgraduate School computer scientists, designed to help players learn digital security concepts. Playtested with middle school students.
posted by doctornemo (7 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
"[d0x3d!] is a board game designed to introduce a diverse body students to network security terminology, attack & defend mechanics, and basic security constructs." English language skills sold separately.
posted by 3FLryan at 6:14 AM on February 8, 2013

Looks like it could be fun, and variants may come out that are even more fun. I am very tempted to buy a set and try it!

I was hoping for more learning though, maybe on the level of how key/cert encryption works or something. Maybe it is in there and I missed it. Maybe others can point out what I'm missing from a schoolkid's point of view. From the videos, at first the network is built from a random shuffle, then elsewhere the players are encouraged to re-arrange the network to make it safer. That re-arranging seems to be where the learning happens. Otherwise the learning seems to reside in visual assessment of the damage, and getting kids into the basic vocab of patching and understanding what the l00t is.

The game looks cool though and part of the fun/learning could be designing the things we'd like to see, while explaining why open source is better than closed.
posted by drowsy at 6:48 AM on February 8, 2013

I was hoping for more learning though..
There are some videos on YouTube.
posted by MtDewd at 8:23 AM on February 8, 2013

After watching the videos, this game appears to be an almost rule-for-rule copy of the cooperative board game Forbidden Island. The website claims the game is an influence, but it is basically the same game.

Forbidden Island is pretty fun, albeit punishing.
posted by chemoboy at 1:25 PM on February 8, 2013

See also. Weird that two security-themed card games are out on the market within a few months of each other...
posted by town of cats at 8:55 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

On further drinking and thinking, I am pretty sure this game violates the Creative Commons Share Alike rule they are sheltering under. I have seen no evidence that Forbidden Island is a CC work, nor that they released anything under share alike.

There's the rub of the CC license. We can do whatever we want! assuming who told us that actually has authority to let us do whatever we want.

Am I just being a dork? As far as I can tell, these guys are just totally ripping off a board game company. I'm all for sticking it to the man, but I'll be damned if you stick it to my indie or popular-indie board game company.
posted by chemoboy at 3:23 AM on February 9, 2013

I know it's a week later, but for the sake of posterity: game mechanics and modes of play are not protected under U.S. copyright law, since they are considered methods and not forms of literary or artistic expression. However, the artwork, the written version of the rules, and any music or dialogue, etc. is protected, and the name of the game is typically trademarked as well.

So legally speaking at least, the makers of this game appear to be operating within the law by renaming the game and creating their own art. Board games can be patented, but it's not clear that the developers of the game ever bothered to patent it. Nor is it clear that they are particularly bothered by this particular borrowing of their ruleset, and the author and publisher are presumably both aware of it by now, seeing as they are not only prominently credited but linked back on d0x3d's homepage.

Whether you believe that game makers, even in the absence of a patent or patent application, have the moral right to extract or expect licensing fees or authorship credit (beyond "inspired by" credit) for the rules that they devise, is another question. But this seems like a legal derivative work to me, on the face of it.
posted by skoosh at 10:40 AM on February 16, 2013

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