The McDonalds Video Game, created by Molleindustria, is a parody of the business practices of the corporate giant McDonalds. It is a part of the general class of “anti-advergames”, in which games are a satire of specific companies and their business practices. The game is a tycoon style business simulation and the gameplay presents the player with four views; the farmland, the slaughterhouse, the restaurant, and the corporate HQ. Through each of these views decisions can be made that will affect the fate of the player’s company. No surprise that the goal of the game is to make money, but the means that you take to make the money is what makes the game so compelling.
Interestingly enough the game is set up that you cannot win without compromising. For example if you try to maintain your farmland without using genetically modified crops the higher ups will not be satisfied and you will begin to lose money. To really succeed in this game you have to use “unethical” means such as: demolishing a village to expand your farm, and adding hormones to the cow’s food source.
Since some of the options are so disturbing the game generally suggest that it is meant to make us all question McDonalds and similar corporations. I think this is because the system can be quite hard and not always apparently fair. For example, if you don’t get the business of the ground quickly you run the risk of becoming bankrupt very fast. What I enjoy about the game is that it never misses an opportunity to criticize the company’s practices. For a Web-based simulation, it’s quite elaborate and engaging. The game uses a lot of exaggeration and humor to communicate the game designers’ opinion of McDonald’s in a not-so-subtle way.