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: In the 80s and 90s there were a lot of cyberpunk-inspired "hacking" games (here's a bunch of reviews). In these games you "jacked in" to the "network", battled ICEs, and stole data from mainframe computers.

There were claims through the nineties that "corporate espionage" was the next big moneymaker for the military-industrial complex after the fall of the Soviet Union, but it never amounted to much and even I could tell that it was a poor substitute for fighting commies. Very few people made a living cracking computers over a network; it was mostly amateurs looking for thrills.

Today, computer crime is big business, but the games have disappeared. I've got an idea for a modern-day game about computer crime. Instead of ripping off faceless corporations, you're defrauding the general public. You can set up phishing and malware sites, create botnets, send out spam, sell fake pills, etc. Pitfalls include spam filters, ISP shutdowns, vigilante activity, and mob hits.

Would this game be fun? I'm pretty sure it would be fun by the standards of the 80s cyberpunk game, but that's not a terribly high bar to set. Here's a card game called "Botnet" that looks fun but is a little lower-level than the game I'm thinking of.


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