Going Underground: Metro Rules Of Conduct

By Kieron Gillen on December 1st, 2008 at 11:42 am.

Screenshots are awesome

Last night, while trying to decide whether I wanted five or six space-elevators in something I’m writing, I was chatting to The_B and he pointed out something which amused him in the IGF entries. And it amused me too. Metro Rules of Conduct is a satirical videogame about the horror of public transport. You can play it here. Remember: for God’s sake, don’t make eye contact.

I suspect this resonates with me more as RPS’ resident london resident – a true Resident Evil – than anyone else. Based around Kian Bashiri’s experience of the Stockholm Metro, I can say it’s a pretty accurate simulation of any urban transport system I’ve been on. The idea is – much like real-life – is to find things to look at for the length of a journey without ever having an embarrassing moment of human connection. Because if your eyes met, you’d have to fight or fuck or… I don’t know. It scares me.

Anyway – videogame. Five stops. Stare at interesting things on the trains – Ipods, scarves, bosoms, whatever – and peer at them as long as you can. But not too long, as they’ll notice. And when they do, it’s the best bit. The character stares out at you for several long seconds, forcing you to move your gaze around them, never meeting, in the best digital simulation of embarrassment I’ve ever seen. Well, the only simulation of digital embarassment, but that’s neither here nor there.

As first person shooters go, this is less STALKER and more plain old stalker. It’s Operation Wolf for bored commuters. It’s very silly. I urge you to play.

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39 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    My score was pitiful but the game is fun.

  2. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Avoid Awkward Eye Contact!

  3. phuzz says:

    I’m in lovely london for a week of training, so this should help me survive the tube every day.
    (bristol is so much more friendly)

  4. Mike says:

    I was in London last week and I know what you mean! I’m about as good at the game as I am in real life – I got 6000 or so…

  5. SuperNashwan says:

    It’s certainly a bit different from what Japanese developers do with the train setting…

  6. Iain says:

    The logical progression of this is surely the Public Toilet Urinal Etiquette Game.

  7. BooleanBob says:

    What I love about this game is the complete lack of penalty for making dreaded eye contact. It’s much the same in real life – as terrifying as the prospect of social interaction without the assuring crutch of alcohol may be, what are they actually going to do to you?

  8. Heliocentric says:

    Stab you?

  9. Ginger Yellow says:

    This isn’t a problem I usually have, unless I have to travel totally unprepared, although the principle behind it does resonate. It’s rare that I go anywhere without three or more of a) my iPod, b) mymobile with internet access or (on the Tube) a variety of games, c) my DS or PSP, and d) a newspaper, book or magazine.

    “The logical progression of this is surely the Public Toilet Urinal Etiquette Game.”

    The internet is way ahead of you. I was pleased to get all but one right when I took the test several years ago.

  10. Fissile Command says:

    I scored much higher randomly messing around in my first go than when I was trying to win…

  11. Iain says:

    @Ginger Yellow: It needs to be done in real-time. Preferably with the drunken pissing mini-game from the Splinter Cell spoof flash game.

  12. The_B says:

    RPS December: We talk about public transport, and urination.

    ALL HAIL RPS.

  13. Malagate says:

    Heliocentric said: “Stab you?”

    Much worse than that I’m afraid, they might try to *shudder* talk to you.

  14. Klaus says:

    Haha, I liked that Urinal game. I got all the answers right except the last one.

    Also, don’t stare at me while in the subway. I’ll think you’re someone of the criminal variety.

  15. Pags says:

    For the record, there are different rules for public transport in Los Angeles, where everyone on public transport is fucking crazy.

  16. Ian says:

    I attract all the crazy people on public transport for some reason. On lines going into Glasgow Central, anyway.

    So minding your own business, sadly, isn’t always adequate protection.

  17. rei says:

    I attract all the crazy people on public transport for some reason. On lines going into Glasgow Central, anyway.

    The secret to surviving any urban situation, public transport or otherwise, is to make yourself look potentially dangerous or otherwise unapproachable. Nudity almost always works.

  18. Ginger Yellow says:

    The secret to surviving any urban situation, public transport or otherwise, is to make yourself look potentially dangerous or otherwise unapproachable. Nudity almost always works.

    So does puking. Although that’s a bit antisocial.

  19. The_B says:

    I think this was made more humourous by the fact the previous day I was on the train with a bloke who had “FUCK YOU” tatooed on the back of his head in big block capital letters. I’m sure he was a delightfully charming man.

  20. Pags says:

    My mum told me an interesting story about a guy who sat next to her on an empty bus in Sydney and just started furiously masturbating. She tried looking out the window, only the moment she did the bus started going through a tunnel and the image was reflected.

  21. Schmung says:

    This is brill. Sadly, it comes along too late for me as I was in Stockholm a few months back and with hindsight can now see a litany of grave social errors. The Stockholm metro is much nicer than the tube though. I’m sure you could work out a game about that using a sort of Toribashi style control system where you’re a tourist laden with luggage travelling during rush hour who has to avoid smacking anyone in the face with your bag or inadvertently groping someone whilst chasing a piece of errant baggage.

  22. ordteapot says:

    Urinal Tournament 2009, eh?
    I hope they keep the vehicles.

  23. Iain says:

    It’s easy to get people to leave you alone on public transport. Just dress like a suicide bomber, lie over your backpack on the seat, fiddle about inside it and shriek “Allah Akbar!” every thirty seconds. I can guarantee you’ll get a carriage to yourself.

  24. Ginger Yellow says:

    It has the small downside of getting you shot by the Met, though.

  25. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Heh, this beautifully captures the red flash of shame of inadvertant eye contact. It probably ought to scale up for the more inappropriate stares though, in particular when caught gazing at the bosoms of the crazy ladies wearing their bras on the outside.

  26. Ian says:

    @ Pags: While it’s wholly gruesome, that still reminds me of one of those “How manly are you?” quizzes you’ll see in e-mails and forums and the like. The last question was along the lines of:

    A woman is uncomfortable watching you masturbate.
    A) She’s just not into that sort of thing, and you should respect that.
    B) You’re not at that stage in your physical relationship yet.
    C) She should never have sat next to you on the bus in the first place.

    Quite wrong, but it made me chuckle.

  27. El Stevo says:

    I made a joke to my friend on the tube once and a lady laughed.

  28. Miles says:

    Well then El Stevo you should do the honourable thing and marry that lady.

  29. Klaus says:

    Indeed.

  30. Adjust Your Set says:

    @The_B
    Presumably most people who stare at the back of that dude’s head are fucking him…

  31. Vic Reeves says:

    Are you looking at my bra?!

  32. Scandalon says:

    Vic – Every day on my way to work. :P

  33. Darkelp says:

    I found that game to be…boring. I have traversed the underground of london many times and I never feel awkward when someone stares at me.
    Although the first time I was caught the sudden flash of red and loud noise made me jump.

  34. Tei says:

    I have a EeePC with linux, and a few books on my backpack. So I can escape this reality any time. I don’t see how a underground metro could be a problem.
    Another of my patented technologies is to close the eyes, and dream. How hard is that?

  35. Cian says:

    It perfectly captures the tedium and social tension of a ride to T-Centrallen.

  36. PlayStar says:

    Hey, didn’t nobody notice that Kian Bashiri also did the totally awesome You Have To Burn The Rope?

  37. The Klugman Revolution says:

    Have all the brassieres suddenly vanished? CENSORSHIP!

  38. James says:

    I appear to have some sort of world record at this game. 8287639! w00t! (Unless that’s not actually a real high score list.)

    Just like in real life, your score goes up exponentially the longer you look at a person. It’s sort of a risk vs. reward scheme, because if you get caught, you don’t get any points and have wasted precious seconds.

    …I’m probably taking away the wrong message from this.

  39. travis500 says:

    Honestly, I never go by metro, it’s too dangerous for me
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