The Null Device

Subvergames

Companies sometimes commission and give away "advergames"—free, branded, computer games designed to present their brands in a positive light. Now guerilla activist types are doing the same: such as this simulation of the hell of working in a Kinko's:
Disaffected! is an arcade-style game with fast action and high replayability. The player controls one or more employees behind the counter at a typical copy store. As each level starts, customers enter the store through the front doors and line up behind the cashiers at the counters. The player must try to find and deliver each customer's order. Obstacles include confused employees, employees who refuse to work, employees who move orders around indiscriminately so the player cannot find them. A complete in-game tutorial walks the player through both one-and two-player gameplay.
The concept isn't new; perhaps the grandfather of the shitwork-simulation game genre was that early-1980s Game&Watch game where one has to catch boxes as they come down four conveyor belts; the fact that it was only a game, and not a soul-crushingly meaningless job, made sufficient difference to transform an existential ordeal into a fun activity.

Of course, the key difference is that Disaffected uses FedexKinko's logos in its graphics. I wonder how long until it gets taken down for trademark violation.

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