Taking Molleindustria’s 2006 release McDonald’s Videogame as a point of reference, we can breakdown its strategy of critiquing McDonald’s on multiple fronts as a way to identify productive ways that games can critique industry concerns. The game adopts the political values of Molleindustria founder and Carnegie Mellon University professor Paolo Pedercini, conveying a left-wing, activist urgency to tackle themes of labor and exploitation. Players roleplay as the CEO of the company and manage four key sectors: cultivation (of raw materials), production (of beef), transaction (of burgers), and reception (of the McDonald’s brand). By addressing these multiple fronts that comprise the total industry, McDonald’s Videogame targets McDonald’s to makes the broader argument that corporations sustain themselves via processes of systemic oppression and corruption, affecting not only the health and bodies of individual people, but also world economies and the environment.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.