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Disaffected!, An Anti-Advergame
Regine Debatty, 17 Jan 06

disaffected.jpgIan Bogost and Persuasive Games have just released Disaffected!, a parodical critique of working life at FedEx Kinko’s, a source of frustration from its patrons. It's part of a new series of persuasive games the developers call anti- advergames (games that challenge players to rethink their relationship with consumption and encourage corporate critique.)

"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."

The game is available for free download, for Mac and Windows.

Via Grand Text Auto and Water Cooler Games.

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I'm going to guess that this only works as a critique against large companies if you are already against them. It's just silly to someone with no experience of what the game is parodying.

Posted by: Tom Edwards on 18 Jan 06

Played it. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know from experience; that low level scut work jobs are icky.

Posted by: Brian on 18 Jan 06

I work at Fedex Kinko's, and after playing this game, I see that it is an accurate (Well, RELATIVELY accurate.)portrayal of life behind the counter of a Kinko's. Everyone is unhappy with their job, and as a result, the customers are unhappy. The only people who are happy are the corporate higher-ups, who are watching their stocks rise like a balloon. How do they achieve this? Well, by understaffing stores, chopping the payroll percentage down, forcing the already skeleton crew to work less hours, failing to pay their share of the now-not-worth-it healthcare "benefits", delaying the already stupidly sparse annual raise (4 cents! Whoopie!) by over a year, nigh eliminating any kind of training, nigh removing anything remaining of our employee relations fund (It's what used to pay for fun things the job would do for us, like company barbecues.), highering newbies at a lower rate than they used to, and shafting us on our MSM scores. (The scores we get based on whether jobs are done right and on time. A good MSM score will make it so everyone sees a weak $10-or-so bonus on their next check.)

In fact, the sad part of it all is that if a Kinko's ran as smoothly as the one in this game does, it would be a HUGE improvement!

Posted by: Ryan on 24 Jan 06



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