Someone Make This: Occupy Video Games
Posted by Ben Davis
Admittedly, I still don’t quite understand the grassroots Occupy movement. The basic idea makes sense: The wealthiest in America are making money doing absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, the movement has no organization, and this seemingly national push to offer fair work and wages to the Have-Nots falls on deaf or confused ears.
The easiest way to offer better exposure for the Occupy movement is the world of free-to-play video games. While protests and demonstrations are an incredibly effective form of getting political notice, the public eye today tends to focus on smart phones and cute cats. Therefore, to pull people into the Occupy movement, people need a chance to see what the movement is about.
People need to play as the 1%.
Set in the mansion of one of America’s most elite, Occupy – The Game shows people the life of the 1%. Serving as a humor and educational launching point, the game teaches players what it is like to be wealthy.
Players can begin as part of the top 10% of wealth-holding Americans and work their way up to the 1% (on the hard mode), or they can begin by being born into the lap of luxury (as most Haves were).
From there, players will spend most of their time exploring their own mansion. While the game will allow some exploration of the world outside of the home, most potential contact with the proletariat is kept to a minimum, and the mansion and manor are large enough to fit a city block within the gates.
For most of the people within the 1%, work is limited to signing a paper once a day. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do this work or the world will stop rotating.
When the player wakes up in the morning, he earns $3M. When he wants to take his morning poop and get wiped, he earns $2,999,998 (yes, wiping a turd will “cost” the player a couple of bucks). If you decide to eat some food, you can go to one of the many restaurants you already own and get paid $3M, or you can buy the restaurant for a few hundred-thousand dollars and get paid $3,200,000 next week.
If you want to buy some new furniture, buy the company making the couch, the distributor delivering the couch, and the retailer selling the couch, and a $16,000 couch becomes a tax-deductible business purchase.
If it isn’t for sale, it isn’t real, as the game teaches you. Politicians, rivals, and even countries can be purchased to make sure you continue making money. Eventually, the player will have a child, and with a few trust funds and private schools, that child will never have to work with the cattle greasing your companies’ wheels.
To make sure there is a challenge, the players will be forced to deal with protests every once in a while, whether it be the Occupy movement or a more regular outsourcing problem. Fortunately, with a few dollars to politicians and the purchase of a news organization, most problems can be fixed.
However, if this is going to be a free-to-play game, it would be best on Facebook or Google+, so players should be forced to work with other 1%-ers to overcome these minor inconveniences. Then, the Occupy movement gets their game promoted on other people’s Walls and the ignorant gets to understand why the 99% is protesting the 1%.
Who Should Make It
Zynga – Clearly, the king of free-to-play social games should take on the project of making the life of the 1% into a video game. Unfortunately, Zynga will bring a bit of challenge to the game, forcing players to work together, and the 1% may be portrayed as an unfortunate class in America, one that constantly has to work together to deal with all the laws, taxes, and protests against them. Since the Occupy movement is completely unorganized, Zynga will not have to pay any of their profits from the game to an outside organization.
Playfish – With games like Pet Society and The Sims Social, EA’s Playfish understands what the social gamer wants, and has access to some of EA’s resources. EA wants to make more money from social media, and latching onto a political movement allows them to make a satirical and timely entry into many people’s micro-transaction gaming.
RockYou – After launching and running games like Gourmet Ranch and Zoo World 2, RockYou is ready for another hit. And what better hit than something that can simultaneously capture the Occupy trends and make fun of rival Zynga? Unfortunately, with RockYou, Occupy – The Game will primarily rely on card-like wall posts, so more people will block the RockYou game than the next ZyngaVille.
Have an idea for “Someone Make This”? Leave a comment below or email Ben@GameTaffy.com to see if your idea makes the cut!