In the future, nothing will be able to escape the clutches of transhuman capitalists - not even management sims. That future is about 6 hours from now, when Spinnortality comes out on Steam. It puts you in charge of a company attempting to take over the world through tech, manipulation and malice, on a journey to become an immortal despot. I am sure everybody will find this very funny in fifty years time.
"Found a powerful corporation", goes the Steam blurb. So far, so American dream. "Use it to market horrific products, control the media, cause riots, crash stock markets, topple governments and become immortal." The modern version of the American dream, then.
Here's solo dev James Patton playing through the first ten minutes.
It's an intriguing premise, especially when you keep reading and see the depths of bastardry you can get up to. Bribing politicians and rigging elections are both options on the table, as is researching products such as "metacritic for friendships" and "sentient social media". Marrying tech research with policy manipulation could make post-modern Machiavellians of us all.
Pleasingly, that's part of the point. Unlike Spinnortality's player character, Patton set out to make the world a better place. “I feel like more and more people are becoming conscious of the fact that individuals and corporations hoarding unimaginable wealth is an immense problem that’s only getting harder to solve,” he said in a press release. “My goal with Spinnortality from the beginning was to make a point about where this road will lead us, and I feel like it’s even more relevant now than when I started."
The impact of emerging technologies in the hands of bad actors is one of the biggest problems facing humanity - and inequality is at the root of all those problems. I'm all for any game that tries to remind people of that.
There's a demo of an old version here, if you're interested.
Spinnortality is due to launch on Steam at 5pm, for £10/$10/€10.