What is Escape Fake?
Escape Fake is an augmented reality escape room. Users print off a series of images that help to turn any room into an AR escape room. In addition to changing the physical look of the room, the images act as targets facilitating the AR experience.
“The player’s objective in the game is to save the future from becoming a fake nightmare. By preventing the fake news in the present, the player will uncover the proper methods and techniques to protect themselves and others from various sorts of misinformation,” said Abdullah Al-Karam of Polycular. “Youngsters learn simple methods and tools like reverse image source to track the source of an image.”
Users begin their adventure by chatting with a fictional character from the near future. The character – an AI chatbot that responds to dialogue options – invites players to investigate fake news stories to save the future.
“We wanted to engage the player, in an experiment to save the future. We needed to connect the present with the future. As a result, we designed a portal in the form of an AI chat with a person from the future, where the player can interact and ask questions,” said Al-Karam. “In principle, it is a simple chatbot that helps us to tell the story but in an interface all teens use daily – a social chat.”
Players advance through the game by interacting with pieces in the augmented reality environment to solve puzzles. These puzzles help them to complete each stage of the game but also teach them about how to be better informed and more responsible citizens.
Along the way, players take brief quizzes. These quizzes teach them about how to spot false information. They also learn about pressing current issues like the European Union and the environment.
Polycular, an Austria-based digital solutions firm created Escape Fake out of a concern that fake news is corroding democracy.
“We consider fake news as one of the most pressing current issues, undermining not only our political systems but our society in general,” said Al-Karam. “AI-generated deep fake videos, with AI-generated audio mimicking politicians or anyone, destroys our idea of reality and truth.”
If that weren’t enough, Polycular believes that augmented reality is the best way to educate today’s youth about these problems.
“The only cure which can help us in the future is to educate everyone about these possibilities and to be skeptical and show possibilities and tools and methods for personal protection,” said Al-Karam. “Currently, teachers try to preach history books to digital natives. We think youngsters need to experience education as an engaging experience that increases their curiosity and challenges their critical thinking to explore and search for the truth themselves and in an interactive manner.”
Download the Game – Save the Future
To download the free Escape Fake app as well as the necessary targets for the augmented reality experience, visit https://escapefake.org. The site also has a walk-through to help users get through the first two stages.