Big corporations beware: Some video game developers are on a mission to skewer your reputation.
For several years, hard-core game players have complained that big consumer brands are increasingly being featured in their virtual game worlds. Even worse, they say, are "advergames," video games developed by companies to promote products.
Now a new genre of games is flipping that promotion on its head. Known as "anti-advergames," the new titles satirize big companies and question corporate polices ranging from how cattle are raised to low pay for workers. . . .
One of the earliest titles in the nascent genre is Persuasive's "Disaffected!," which puts players in the role of managing a FedEx Kinko's copy franchise.
"Disaffected!" gives players the chance to step into the shoes of "demotivated" FedEx Kinkos employees, a blurb about the game on Persuasive Game's Web site said. "Feel the indifference of these purple-shirted malcontents firsthand, and consider the possible reasons behind their malaise--is it mere incompetence? Managerial affliction? Unseen but serious labor issues?"
Another new game, from the Italian design shop Molleindustria, skewers McDonald's by taking players though a game experience in which they discover that to make money running the company they must exploit underdeveloped countries and low-wage workers and feed unhealthy growth hormones to cattle.
"Behind every sandwich, there is a complex process you must learn to manage," Molleindustria said in a statement. "From the creation of pastures to the slaughter, from the restaurant management to the branding. You'll discover all the dirty little secrets that made (McDonald's) one of the biggest companies (in) the world." (Daniel Terdiman, Games that Stick it to the Man, CNET, Feb. 3, 2006).
Making money in a corporation like McDonald's is not simple at all! Behind every sandwich there is a complex process you must learn to manage: from the creation of pastures to the slaughter, from the restaurant management to the branding. You'll discover all the dirty secrets that made us one of the biggest company of the world. (McDonald's Videogame by Molleindustria, The Game)
The underlying goals are also clear, if you read carefully:
For decades McDonald’s corporation has been heavily criticized for his negative impact on society and environment.
There are inevitably some glitches in our activity: rainforest destruction, livelihood losses in the third world, desertification, precarization of working conditions, food poisoning and so on…
Denying all these well founded accusations would be impossible so we decided to create an online game to explain to young people that this is the price to pay in order to preserve our lifestyle.
We’ll continue on our way, with our well-known determination. Join us and have fun with us!
Ronald McDonald ((McDonald's Videogame by Molleindustria, Why This Game)
Do you wanna play McDonald's videogame offline?
Do you wanna publish it on your website or portal?
Here are the files you can download and share for free:
Stand-alone version for PC exe zip
Stand-alone version for Mac hqx
Online version for Flash enabled browsers swf