Tuesday 2 October 2007

Super Size Me - The Video Game

I noticed a link to this wee online game over at Boing Boing... Ladies and gentlemen, the McDonald's Video Game:

Basically, in the McDonald's Video Game the player assumes control of McDonald's. A tough gig... The pressures of a CEO are immense. Profits must be achieved. Boards of directors must be satisfied. Customer needs must be met, and duly manipulated. Protesters must be silenced... Everything must be done to ensure a smooth and profitable transience into McBillionaire territory. There are no rules.

Running low on cattle feed? Chuck some more industrial waste and growth hormones into the troughs... Need to grow more GM maize? Simply level another few miles of South American rain forest... What? That cow is diseased? It's cheaper just to process him... Paulo just won't stop frowning at his till even though you gave him another gold star? Fire the ingrate... Parents are worried that fast food is actually bad for their children? Just sign another deal with Disney for The Lion King XI: Simba's Colostomy Bag... Oh, and don't forget to bribe the relevant nutritionists and diet experts!

Yup, this quick and easy procedural strategy game pulls no punches in critiquing the malevolent omnipotence of Ronald Mc. Calling this a work of satire barely does it justice... This is genius.

However, it is also very unsettling. Play it for a while (as I did) and you will soon find yourself chucking in the growth hormones with gusto. Business morals and ethics? Bollocks to that! The staff and the public mean nothing as you blindly quest for a higher profit margin. "I can't believe these saps (pixels) are paying for this muck!", you chuckle as the queues lengthen and your Vice-CEO applauds.

All very Faustian... McFun anyone?

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