Tuesday, May 03, 2005

thank you, drive through

I've never been able to play games like Sim City or Rollercoaster Tycoon... they're like all the icky bits of life and zero of the fun bits, the exact opposite of what I look for in a game. You're basically running a little virtual business, with all that that entails: cranky customers, stuff breaking down, the competition is kicking your ass... sounds like fun, eh?

The bright side is that these games are training a new generation of cut-throat business majors who will have an efficiency level that rivals the Borg. Take little Emma, the Customer Service Assassin, for example:

...as I watched, my little Customer Service Representative used the Guest Summary Window to gauge the happiness level of all of the guests in her park. She then used the Mini-Map to zoom in on a particularly disgruntled fellow standing in line for one of the roller coasters.

She clicked on the Grab tool, picked up the unhappy patron by the scruff of the neck, and carried him over to the small lake that housed the rowboat rentals.

Then, without the slightest pause, she let go. The dissatisfied customer landed in the water with a splash, bobbed on the surface for a few seconds, and then went under.

This kid has seen the business world and come to the contextually accurate if not quite rational conclusion that if your customers get upset, send them to sleep with the fishes. At a time when companies are suing their customers and countries are enforcing economic policies with warfare, skipping all of the marketing mumbo-jumbo and proactively offing disgruntled customers doesn't seem too far off the mark.

There's a lot of irony here... the success of this type of game is partly a reaction to the violence in games like Grand Theft Auto and Doom. Parents who think that carjacking a minivan and running over some hookers is a little extreme have the option of buying games that theoretically have no violence in them, but eventually their little innocent bundle of sunshine finds some way to bring human nature back into the equation.

[via Iron Monkey]


Blogger tinarama said...

Haven't the power elite pretty much ALWAYS enforced economic policies through warfare? Seems there is still nothing (or very little) new under the sun. I loved the secret postcard post the other day, by the way. Will have to spend some time sorting through my stash of secrets & write one up. Or two. Or three. Mwah hah. TT.

Blogger Foobario said...

Aye, sometimes I think that the definition of a country has less to do with land mass and more to do with whether or not the people on that land have banded together to enforce their economic worldview. ('Economic' being relative... there are places where the economy is based on yams.)
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