Thursday, July 18, 2019
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The Lockdown AR: New Augmented Reality Escape Game to Help Prevent Global Financial Crisis

A prestigious European bank launches an augmented reality escape game where players can help prevent a global financial crash.

We generally do not associate banks with games and entertainment. Banks are serious institutions, keeping our money safe, granting loans and financing businesses. But Dutch-based ABN AMRO bank has decided to change the old dusty views of financial institutions and launched an augmented reality escape game. The Lockdown AR is not your typical escape game. Instead of pirates, alien invaders, terrorists or mad scientists, players must prevent a different, but more realistic kind of catastrophe: a global financial crisis.

 

The Lockdown AR: An Augmented Reality Escape Game with 21st Century Villains

Hackers are not among your usual range of movie and game villains. But they are a real threat in the world we live in. Since most of our money is used in a digital form—through bank transfers, mobile payments and even cryptocurrency, we are at the mercy of people with advanced IT knowledge and evil, greedy plans.

This is the general background of the augmented reality escape game The Lockdown AR developed by ABN AMRO. The action of the game takes place in the year 2028 (not too distant from the present), when all the money on the planet is in digital form. There is not one coin or banknote in circulation and all people and businesses depend on secure wire transfers and digital payments.

The Lockdown AR - augmented reality escape game

But a hacker with a twisted ideology manages to create chaos one day, by blocking everyone’s access to their money. It is the player’s mission to thwart these plans and restore financial stability to the planet.

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The Concept Behind the Game: Augmented Reality Interaction and Blockchain Technology

The Lockdown AR is not just a game with a very realistic topic. It is also a part of the efforts made by ABN AMRO to identify and attract IT talent. The search for this type of employee is a must for any financial institution, but ABN AMRO has decided to go beyond standard recruitment tests and interviews.

The mobile augmented reality escape game features a complex chain of decision making and requires specialized IT knowledge. The player must backtrack the hacker’s actions, identify changes in the API log, find backdoors implemented in the money transfer software, etc.

The Head of Employer Branding at ABN AMRO, Maarten Bokhoven, explained the decision to launch this hi-tech augmented reality escape game: “The demand for digital talent has increased enormously in recent years. We have invested in being relevant as a bank for this target group… IT specialists are faced here with fundamental challenges and have a major social impact. These are all elements that also appear in The Lockdown.”

The Lockdown AR - augmented reality escape game

 

A Successful Collaboration Effort

The Lockdown AR was developed in collaboration with CODE D’AZUR digital agency and features complex puzzle mechanisms designed by Sherlocked. ABN AMRO actively participated in the design and development of the augmented reality escape game. A team of blockchain experts and infosec specialists from the bank were constantly involved in advising the developers’ team and creating technical challenges for the players.

If you believe that you have all it takes to track down a devious cyber criminal, you can try your hand at The Lockdown augmented reality escape game. It is available for free on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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