A new $2-million citizen surveillance system installed along the Tex-Mex border has everything one can ask for: CCTV cameras, the internet, people sitting at home and catching Mexicans. That's right, Virtual Stakeout's webcams can be viewed online by anyone, turning alert viewers into "Virtual Deputies". As Kotaku rightfully points out, this project indeed sounds like a game. There're rules – don't let them get across – and there's the artificial conflict: Mexicans vs the border, vs the wellfare state vs drug laws vs…
As they put it:
You sit there, you can the horizon, and if you spot someone trying to make a run across the border, you notify the authorities. So it's like Pokemon Snap, then, only without the Pokemon. Mexican Snap, if you will.
They go on to explain:
It's a joint operation between the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition and BlueServo, BlueServo being a budding ...social networking site, who are helping foot the bill in exchange for the publicity.
Connecting people by having them chase others, what an awesome idea! What's next? Ning groups getting created for the purpose of hunting Taliban? Xbox user collecting achievements by helping to catch gang members? The possibilities are endless!