Freeware Garden: RocketJumpification

Live by the point, die by the point.

Subaltern Games, the radical game dev studio responsible for jolly world-destructing, money-making sim Neocolonialism, have apparently gone text mad and released the wordy, seriously bonkers and freeware RocketJumpIfication.

Heavily inspired by Caroline Murphy’s verbosely titled Gamification and the Existential Crisis: An assignation of meaning to otherwise meaningless dribble,  RocketJumpIfication is thus, first and foremost a Twine powered choose-your-own-adventure critique of gamification. You know, of the particularly irritating application of game-like systems to non-gaming situations that has most probably been created to personally irritate me.

But as even playful critiques can only take a game this far, Subaltern Games have decided to go wild and let you actually destroy capitalism and bring down governments via gamification itself. Which, absurd as it may sound, when supported by some great writing does almost make sense.

The power of confusion and social media is apparently immense.

18 Comments

  1. Niko says:

    Turned out their gamified economy wasn’t really foolproof. :)

  2. Rizlar says:

    I enjoyed the ‘perfect’ ending.

  3. GameCat says:

    I’ve created the black hole and had sex while watching the burning world.

    10/10

  4. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Having someone yell at me about the pointlessness of my life is almost the perfect opposite of the reason I play games, to be honest.

    • FrumiousBandersnatch says:

      I’m not sure you got the message of that IF right, but regardless, maybe not every game has to be played for exactly the same reasons. It’s possible for games to coexist, i think.

      • Narvius says:

        To be honest, I think a lot of unnecessary conflict within the community comes from people thinking their reasons are the only valid ones.

        I myself play games for a plethora of reasons – fighting games for competition; shmups for the adrenaline; RPGs for the story; and the list goes on. The difference between Street Fighter and Final Fantasy is like the difference between chess and a book; just because they both fit in the broad category of “video games” doesn’t mean they are anything alike.

    • Niko says:

      Just don’t play this one, it’s simple.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        @FrumiousBandersnatch Well, yeah. It was an observation, not a value judgement

        @Niko Too late, man!

    • Josh W says:

      I actually played a mix of the pointlessness stuff and the hacking stuff. I mucked around with all the systems until I had something potentially worthwhile to do a job.

      It’s funny, I think my life is just not existentially barren enough that I can identify with how stupid this stuff is, but not actually feel too personally affected. Like in real life I’m constantly working to get ahead of the game in some way, avoid all the obvious traps that cause you to waste all your money away trying to save time or get ahead of the game. That’s in a circle on purpose!

      Most of the time gamification is about beating the system, people play pointless games to boost their gamerscore, or whatever, and try to get coupons in such a way as to not need to buy any more bananas; it holds out the prospect of being able to get an extra good deal, if you just play along with the system a little, but usually the benefits aren’t as good as just doing your own thing and spending your time on something else.

      So at first blush this seems like a subversion, but actually that’s how people use these things all the time; “Aha, if I go to this tescos I will drive a little longer but I will get money off my petrol that will balance it out”, people feel like they’re doing something clever that’s beating the system.

      The question I have of any game with an xp system or a loyalty card or anything else, is how good the experience is if I just ignore the system, and how fun the system is to game. And usually, it’s more fun to actually try to game the mechanics of a different game directly, or just play the game underlevelled and deal with the challenges this produces, rather than doing something methodical and dull to powerlevel.

  5. Narvius says:

    “powered by TiddlyWiki”
    I laughed. That’s creative as hell!

    As for the game itself, though… it’s amusing-ish for a while. As far as I can tell there’s a threshold for mischief-ery that you need to reach to be able to pick the “real” ending, and little interactivity beyond that.

    • subalterngames says:

      The “real” ending is just the parts that I added to Caroline’s game, the “point” (such as there is one) may be more obvious if you play through the original Twine game first.

  6. Gog Magog says:

    Dead Flag Blues.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      we drift like worried fire

      • keithzg says:

        The skyline was beautiful on fire
        All twisted metal stretching upwards
        Everything washed in a thin orange haze

  7. MrUnimport says:

    Got a good chuckle out of it, but surely this should be labelled a response to or riff on Murphy’s, not “heavily inspired by”.

  8. Captain RDM says:

    “Want to drink cheap wine, have passionate sex, and watch the world burn?”
    “Yes.”
    This is what happens when you walk -1 steps. 10/10 GOTY