Class Topics

Networked Communication

The entire game is built around the idea of networked communication. Without the internet and cellphone networks people wouldn’t be able to live stream what they are doing to the watchers. Also the ease of watching on your cell phone wherever you are is what allows for such a huge audience of watchers. Both the watchers and players freedom of speech is taken away by the fact that they can’t speak out against the game without major repercussion. The phrase “snitches get stitches” is used to scare people into silence. When Vee does try to say something she gets hacked and blackmailed into silence and forced to continue playing. Ian had a similar experience which is why he continues to play the game and not speak out about it.

Intellectual Property

Nerve is an open-source application, where a 50% majority is required to make edits to the source code. By downloading the application, you host a server on your local device, which makes it extremely hard to delete. The intellectual property rights to the game remain shrouded in mystery throughout the movie, as does its original creator. This is the only real occurrence of intellectual property being covered in the movie.

Information Privacy

When you sign up for Nerve, it scans every piece of public data on the internet related you in order to create a “profile”. There is no permission requested, and no information given on the data that is accessed and gathered. These profiles are then made available to “watchers” to determine the best type of dare to give you. At the end of the movie, in order to shut down the game, Vee’s hacker friends expose the identity of all the watchers. When signing up for the game, you are supposed to remain anonymous. At the end, however, they realize that they are not truly anonymous and that their identity is still linked to their actions. When Vee snitches about the game, all of her information is stolen, The “game” steals her identity and drains her bank account then blackmails her into continuing the game. Throughout the movie, the whole game is documented using cameras from a variety of devices. The players have no control over who documents them, and don’t even know that their phone camera is constantly turned on recording them. Some iconic scenes include Vee changing in a dressing room, unaware all the watchers can see and another scene when she is talking privately about her how much she hates her best friend, and her best friend sees the whole thing through the game recording it.

Privacy in Government

The movie does not relate to this chapter. The only time that the government is mentioned is when the game advises not to tell anyone about the game. When Vee decides to go to the cops to tell them and save her from the game, he does nothing. The game takes all the money out of her bank account and Nerve controls her life, family, and future. She learns that Ty’s life was ruined by the game, taking away his money and father’s job. None of this is done by the government as the game controls it all. The government has no control or involvement in the game and they do not care about it.

Computer and Network Security

This chapter relates in terms of the dark web and hacking. While accessing the dark web isn’t illegal, there is illegal materials such as drugs and counterfeit goods. In the movie, Tommy accesses the dark web site Aruba, using a referral code and Tor. This is both accurate and shows people how someone would access the dark web, which could influence the audience. Nerve is able to access one's accounts, in the beginning it illegally goes through all of your accounts to develop a player profile and is later able to deposit and withdraw money from the players bank account. It is able to bypass all of the security of these accounts, especially with how much banks put an emphasis on security. Towards the end of the movie, Tommy and his friends alter the open-source nerve code to display the participants real names and the text "You are an accessory to murder." Essentially they hacked Nerve and used a series of foreign bots to get the approval of the program which relies on group approval to do anything.While Nerve is open-source they did exploit the code and by altering the code they were hacking. However, this hacking was for their and most of the watchers benefits. It did harm the creators of Nerve as it shut the game down. But, this hacking did have a net good as it saved a life and showed thousands of people the horrors of the internet.

Computer Reliability

The movie does not really relate to this chapter. If there was some bug in the programming that caused a massive failure it would simply keep people from playing Nerve.

Work and Wealth

Work and Wealth dives into the ways in which technology impacts the workforce. While interesting, it does not correlate well with Nerve, as the movie does not have any aspects in relation to the working class. The movie focuses entirely on actions outside of a “work” setting, and therefore lacks any relevant connections to this section of the text.