FACEMINER is an upcoming narrative-driven simulation game set within a suite of vintage corporate software. Classify harvested biometric data, upgrade your mining infrastructure, and scale up your AI surveillance empire to apocalyptic ends in this hardcore thriller clicker.
Set against a backdrop of 90s techno-optimism, FACEMINER is an experimental, narrative-driven management sim that tasks the player with building a biometric processing empire from scratch. The player must manage hardware and software upgrades, warehouse infrastructure, and crooked carbon offsetting schemes as they carve out their biodata empire.
Designed to illustrate the mechanisms of data harvesting and machine learning model creation, the player must juggle internal bureaucracy and external market forces as they become a facial classification tycoon. FACEMINER thrusts the player into a world of planetary-scale data management; storage shortages, server meltdowns, and global climate catastrophe represent various ways the game can end on the road to data supremacy.
FACEMINER is the result of a research project examining the ecological impact of planetary-scale cloud computing, particularly when used for training AI models. The game incorporates exponential growth as a game mechanic to highlight the winner-takes-all nature of cloud computing, where datasets and the server farms housing them grow dramatically year-on-year in both their size and value.
The game is an exploration of how the simulation game format can be used to simplify a complex topic that covers surveillance, AI, and the deployment of physical infrastructure at extreme scales. The digital landscapes where these technologies are constructed, and the virtual clouds from which they are deployed, often obscure their connection to the physical realities of raw computational power. FACEMINER is an attempt to make these connections feel tangible.
Wristwork is an artist-led independent game and interactive media studio, established in 2021. Our focus is on creating cerebral shortform gaming content.