Sunday 21 August 2011

Street-Cleaning Computer Game

I was wandering through town the other day when I ended up in the local “Game” store. I was browsing the shelves and stopped in amazement when I saw the game in the photo above for sale. This is a computer game based on a street-cleaning machine, tucked in there right next to mainstream Conformist games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Age of Empires. Here’s its website: This program, by Excalibur Games, puts the user in control of a virtual street-cleaning vehicle. The conformist reaction to this is to laugh scornfully: “Who’d be interested in playing that!?” I hear. I find it always amusing to ask a Conformist why he thinks nobody would be interested in playing that and he’ll stutter and fluster for a couple of seconds then come out with classic lines like: “Well… that’s just the way things are, Mate.” or “Look, it just is, OK?” These are not answers, they’re non-answers! They are fire-escapes for your mind when uncomfortable concepts appear in your brain.

I’m delighted that there is a market for games about street-cleaning. It seems that gamers want to learn about what the Conformist mind dismisses as a menial and worthless occupation. Hospital Portering is regarded in much the same way; I’ve even been told at one point: “Ben, don’t tell ‘em we’re Porters!” See: Perhaps I should get together with a games designer and write a new game based on Hospital Portering; if that sells well I’ll know for sure that nonConformism is beginning to take hold en masse!


Cabal said...

I've seen (and played once) Theme Hospital, yet don't recall any porters or theatre porters included. It'd be nice to see that kind of simulator game. "Survival of the fittest". You've got 2000 quids on your account, arrive in Britain's 2nd most expensive city with a bag and a laptop only as your valuables, with no friends or potential employers on site, land in a hostel sharing room with 7 other people... good luck! Guess whom I'm refering to, Ben? ;-P

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

TavistockEnders of course!


Unknown said...

That is pretty wicked and offbeat. And undeniably useful, in terms of educating about the logistics of it. And it does so while instilling the virtue and value of keeping up this practice, and the key principle behind it, which is social maintenance.