To participate in Camover, players form a team and give it a name – the ‘brigade’ part seems to be a must – and then go around town destroying CCTV cameras. The process has to be taped and posted online. Each team gets point for the number of destroyed cameras, as well as for creativity of execution.
The players are clear about their goals: “Although we call it a game, we are quite serious about it: Our aim is to destroy as many cameras as possible and to have an influence on video surveillance in our cities,” the creator of Camover told the Guardian.
The competition ends on February 19, when European Police Congress is to be held in Berlin. There is no real prize for the winner, except for being put in front lines of the protests planned for the days prior to the congress. Still, scores of ‘camoverians’ have already joined ‘the race’. Online Camover page keeps track of all the teams. It’s been quite a challenge, however, to keep track of the very game’s homepage, as it is continually being shut down.
All players are anonymous, and mostly dress in black and cover their faces. They move in quickly, and then immediately disappear. Police have so far been unable to catch any of the CCTV attackers.
“It’s not an organized group that is causing these crimes. They are some people from the left wing of the political corner. They call for competition in this city, to try and get others involved in destroying cameras,” Stefan Redlich of the Berlin police told RT. “I don’t think it’s Big Brother watching. We have strict laws in Germany. Only the ground you own can be protected with a camera. You are not allowed to point the camera at the public street.”