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Computer Beast: Viruses enter Malware-"Hall of Fame"
Editors of virus card game satisfy curiosity of computer community - new edition and supplements in the pipeline
Who will be coming home uninfected after a date with Sasser, Michelangelo, Melissa, Morris, Slammer or Swen? It might be the PC-user with a universal virus protection or one of those lucky gamblers who was able to get a copy of "Computer Beast", the first virus card game ever.
32 cards present dubiously famous malware such as viruses, worms, backdoors, Trojan horses and even hoaxes. One of the headliners is the first virus ever, Elk Cloner of 1981, and well-known worms such as LoveLetter, Sobig, Netsky, Lovesan and the recently circulating Sasser. They are all described by Type, Alias, Symptom, Size, Date of Discovery, Distribution and Damage.
The card game's chief attractions are the visualisations of the German artist and musician Jo Zimmermann. His black and white-illustrations of the formerly image-free world of abstract virus scripts personify these mini programs. 'Yes', one might think, 'this mix of micro-biological and alien worlds with their disproportionately long and big limbs is how I always envisioned these creatures.'
The print version of the card game was developed by known_sense, a Cologne-based communications agency, and was initially presented as a giveaway at "business 2 dialog", a German business fair. After that, copies have been sold for 8 Euro each. Meanwhile, the first print edition is almost out of stock, a second edition will be available this fall. "I am very happy that not only consumers but the usually critical media too have adopted this idea so extraordinarily well", says known_sense-chairman Dietmar Pokoyski.
"Hall of Fame" of Malware
After the successful launch of the German website www.virusquartett.de with an online version of the game Pokoyski is ready to enter the international market with an English version. "It's been about time to sensitize users for this growing universal menace and at the same time take away their fears in this playful way." Those users who feel the urge to get rid of the moral pressure of most computer security companies, may face, fight and trump against their viral enemies on www.computer-beast.com.
Current malware such as Cabir, the first worm infecting mobile phones (Nokia Series 60), are constantly being added to both, the German and the English version. And Jo Zimmermann will be first in line to illustrate every new 'face' of the virus family.
Companies can order licences for virus card games with their own branding, the media may use single virus visuals to illustrate their articles. The requests even from other businesses have been numerous so far. "This comes as no surprise", says Pokoyski, "as viruses have gained the status of pop stars these days. Since virus warnings have already made it to the top news messages, it will only take a little more time until news journals will have virus reports next to their weather forecasts."
known_sense: premium editions for customers
The Cologne agency for Identity, Creation, Communications and Knowledge Management, known_sense, was founded in 2002 by Dietmar Pokoyski as a networking label. The portfolio of known_sense includes conventional communication and online promotion as well as the development and manufacturing of premium giveaways, incentives, games or other promotional items as limited and small editions with unique reference to art editions such as print projects.
Schlammpeitziger: Electro Pop and Art Brut
Jo Zimmermann has been known as "Schlammpeitziger" in the international electronic music scene for years. His latest album "Everything without all inclusive" was released in 2003. Before his career as pop musician Zimmermann had made a name for himself as illustrator and performer.
Orders and online game at www.computer-beast.com
Cologne, August 2004
app. 4,200 characters
Additional information and pictures are sent on request!
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