I/Witness/archive

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UPDATE: http://www.iwitness.urbandead.info

The above link has much more relevant information, including a functioning version of the iwitness tool. While still lacking many of the features mentioned below, it works well and demonstrates the concept / utility of the idea.


Original Article / Concepts

I/Witness is an Imagine proposal for a metagame tool that would also perhaps require certain in-game actions / items to use.

The Basics

The heart of I/Witness would be a web-page on which you could register an account, the account name always matching that of a UD character. When (and only when) you clicked a button labled "take picture", the web page would use a combination of basic web page style Javascript and server-side programing to look at all of your browsers open windows, determine which ones are UD game screens in which the character that matched the account was logged in / had acted, grab the HTML from those screens, and store that HTML to a database.

The "pictures" would then be accessible to you (and others you gave permission to) via your I/Witness account. Only your account and those you gave permission to would be able to view the "pictures" taken with your account. Management of who could view your "pictures" would be done in a manner similar to as on blogs like Livejournal, allowing you to grant access to groups, friends, and so forth, instead of forcing you to set every permission manually. It would also be possible to set pictures to "open viewing", allowing them to serve a purpose much similar to a screen shot- even persons who had no account could view these. Security settings would also be available so that "pictures" could have certain details blocked out when viewed by accounts other than your own, other than by friends, and so on.

What's the Point?

The effect would be much like creating a website that captures, stores, and displays screen shots of UD game play. However, these would NOT be screen shots, but actual game data- allowing viewers to follow links to profiles, etc. Also, the displayed pages would have a much higher "believability" than a screen shot; the method proposed above could be made very hard to spoof without advanced coding skills, while screen shots are trivially easy for anybody with novice HTML or image editing skills to fake.

Also, the database could serve larger purposes, such as allowing auto-updates of maps like the NT Status Map and others. However, these more advanced features would require website administrators to access data taken from account pictures. This would again be done only with the account users permission. There might also be the potential to allow DEMON type info sharing among self-formed coalitions; in theory just the basic functions outlined above allow this information to be shared, but actually putting it in a usable form would be difficult. Both of these functions could be added on an experimental basis well after the basic functions described above were in place, functioning, and accepted by users.

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