No Pineapple Left Behind: Be A Dole

“A game about de-unionized schools and tropical fruit.”

Sold.

Subaltern Games, they behind satirical world-domination-through-exploitative-labour-sim Neocolonialism, are on Kickstarter asking for funding for a project turning their ire to the American schooling system.

An evil wizard goes to a school and turns all the students into pineapples, you see. And as pineapples, all they need to do to have the school succeed is get good grades in formulaic tests. Do you see what they’re doing there? Manage the school tightly, burning through teachers with unrealistic workloads and dehumanising curricula, and this simple, profitable status of pineapple students will see you succeed! But accidentally lose any grip on things, and those pineapples might turn back into complicated, personality-driven children.

Oh gosh, I love this concept – enough even to swallow my frustration with the fiddly neediness of management games, just for the catharsis of such a valuable point being so smartly made. If the game’s any good, of course – no way of knowing that bit yet. They make a bold comparison with Prison Architect, which could come back to nip at them. They’ve got 11 days left to make the bulk of their $35k, with the $10 tier for a copy of the finished game.

From this site

28 Comments

  1. Hex says:

    This makes me pretty happy.

  2. Anthile says:

    They should do a crossover promotion with that dolphin school game.

  3. cpt_freakout says:

    I thought Neocolonialism was great (man, that sounds awful), so they get a backer here! Thanks for spotlighting it – otherwise I wouldn’t have ever seen it.

    • MajorManiac says:

      They missed a trick with the Neocolonialism trailer (which looks great by the way).

      When the words flash up at the end “Available Now” they should have been followed with “…and in the game”.

  4. Slouch says:

    As a Conservative MP I support the privatisation of the education system and the importation of exotic fruit from the colonies. However, I am not keen on paying for the education of fruits simply because they have come to this great land as “asylum seekers” with the intent of living on benefits and eroding our culture. I see the River Tiber foaming with much fruit.

    • kwyjibo says:

      That’s funny, as the only UKIP MP, I support exactly the same things.

      • subalterngames says:

        Gosh, I don’t know what any of this means. The game is meant to critique American schools, and it’s always fascinating, albeit depressing, to learn that is relevant elsewhere

        • kwyjibo says:

          I’m not sure how relevant it is in the UK right now, it was just a bit of mickey taking. Teachers unions and testing culture aren’t really on the political radar right now.

          The debate in the UK is as to whether free schools are a waste of time and money. No one really knows. And whether Conservative curriculum changes are of any value.

      • John Connor says:

        As Literally Hitler, me too.

  5. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    I backed it, and I’ve already gotten my money’s worth of entertainment from the KS updates alone.

  6. plugav says:

    So, this is some kind of realistic simulation of the school system, yeah?

  7. iridescence says:

    Decided to back this one. Nice to see a game with an important message, interesting looking gameplay and a sense of humour.

    • Rizlar says:

      A+ for effort. Interesting ideas, look forward to seeing it completed!

  8. InnerPartisan says:

    So glad to see that somebody is finally picking up on the scandal that is #pineapplepizzagate!

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      They call a pineapple pizza a ‘Hawaiian’, but where are the documents proving it was created in Hawaii? Some damning evidence has come to light suggesting it has Kenyan origins.

      • Halk says:

        The most pressing issue is how the so called pineapple “pizza” came to be considered an acceptable pizza variation, when in fact it is clearly an inferior food product that does not comply with the noble standards of Pizza.

        It is a shameful, perhaps even revolting situation, and should be rectified as soon as possible.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Hey, pineapple pizza happen to be my favorite type of pizza and, since this is the internet, I will not allow anyone to badmouth my personal preferences. Mentioning it makes me pine(apple) for it.

          • Halk says:

            I choose to believe that you are afflicted by some form of selective insanity, or a kind of daltonism that instead of colour affects the ability to distinguish between foodstuffs.

      • Volcanu says:

        And another thing. How did a terrible pizza like that get into Harvard?

      • valrus says:

        Worse! It’s… CANADIAN!

      • frogulox says:

        I always just figured it was the whole luau thing.. with a pigspit and probably pineaple something.
        Though im now wondering does hawah-ee even pineapple or am I groomed by television to make these assumptions?

        Save me, google!

  9. Bodylotion says:

    Yes the idea behind the game is pretty fun and original, wonder why they didnt choose to go with the kids turning into pineappels but i guess that’s why it makes this original. The graphics also look good and i’m always up for a good simulator (like theme hospital etc.).

    It could be i missed something but is this game even like a normal sim? Like to me it sounds like the emotionless pineappels are less fun than the kids to deal with. What makes the spells the teacher casts fun? Will there be offices (yes i saw some on the art pic), maintenance, staff rooms, toilets (would be fun with pineapples) or a schoolyard?

    Perhaps I just don’t get the meaning of this game :)

    • pepperfez says:

      Obviously not if you think teachers should have offices, staff rooms, or toilets. Decent working conditions are for job creators, not mooching public-employee scum.

  10. Mitthrawn says:

    I hate to be that guy but… I’m going to be that guy.

    The real problem with American schools is not standardized testing and overworked teachers. The real problem is that teachers are paid based on seniority rather than merit. This incentivizes teachers who are average, not good (or smart or driven) enough to make more money in a merit based field, but not poor enough to lose their jobs. This isn’t to say that we don’t have good, smart, and driven teachers, but that the system isn’t set up to reward that sort of behavior, so we get less of it than we otherwise could, and individuals who could be great teachers are driven towards careers where they can make more money and be properly rewarded for their intelligence and ambition.

    There are many problems with American schools, but the lack of talent and the lack of new good teachers is the biggest issue facing American schools and the biggest reason we lag behind Europe despite spending far more per capita. You can’t spend your way to talent. At least, not if you don’t incentivize it.

    • lesslucid says:

      If that were the case, the education systems that financially incentivise individual good teachers would outperform those with flat pay, and the superiority of those systems would be clearly visible in the PISA data. It isn’t, so it’s not. Or rather, “merit pay” may be a good thing, but it’s clearly a small enough factor that other, far more important factors outweigh it. It’s not the main thing.
      link to nces.ed.gov

      • subalterngames says:

        There are some serious problems with the tenure system. The problem with charter schools eclipses that in 2 respects. First that the test – driven system tends to have just as bad results if not worse. Second, that by eviscerating collective bargaining power, we are eliminating any hope of true reform.