Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Molleindustria: radical video games you can play in your browser

As some regular readers of this blog already know, I have an interest in using video games as civic education tools. One especially radical and interesting possibility in this regard is to use video games to highlight critical social questions, and this has been the path taken by Molleindustria, an Italian collective that "aims to reappropriate video games as a popular form of mass communication."

Molleindustria has released two flash-based games that I think you should go play RIGHT NOW (video gaming in the office is legit if it is for academic purposes, and I'm giving you a free pass)! The games are free to play, and you can run them in your internet browser.

The first game that I'm going to highlight, and one of Molleindustria's first efforts, is The McDonald's Game. In this game, your job is to maximize profit on behalf of the shareholders, and you need to make some tough decisions to make this happen. Cut down the rainforest? Throw some additives in the feed? Drive the workers a bit harder? Figure out if you've got the fortitude to succeed as a big-time capitalist!

A more recent release, and an even more unsettling piece of social criticism, is Unmanned (see screenshot below), which places the player in the role of the pilot of an US Army Predator drone. I won't give a whole lot away about the plot of this game, but let's just say for now that it is clear that the video game interface has long since moved beyond the video game. This game (see screenshot below) will make you see why some social critics use the term "military-entertainment complex."

For those who have been following my updates on the Montreal protests, please stay tuned. The government and the students hit a deadlock in negotiations and talks have now broken off. The festival of excess that is the Montreal Grand Prix is approaching and the student leaders reportedly said during negotiations, "On va l'organiser, votre Grand Prix," which, roughly translated, means, "We'll take care of your Grand Prix," with special Tony Soprano-style italics on the "take care" part. The next few weeks may prove to be interesting and tumultuous in this beautiful, passionate, and gritty city.

1 comment:

Kill the zombies said...

There are different type of browser games that you can play in your PC and Facebook is a good source of different flash and browser games.