Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Game Over" for Video Game Makers?

As the video game industry continues to mature, game makers are scrambling to create the next generation of games designed specifically for a maturing demographics. The average age of the hard core gamer is now... well about your age! So in accordance with the changing needs of an aging population, a new generation of games is being developed. Wholesale "death and destruction" is not even remotely entertaining anymore. You've seen one head explode, you've seen them all. Aging gamers are looking for games that reflect the thrill and exhilaration of "real life", while providing the escapism and high definition graphics of cyberspace. These next generation games are so cuting edge, it's like being trapped in The Matrix with a bad bootleg copy of "Misery". On the drawing board:

1) Grand Theft Audit: The premise is simple. The Player is required to accumulate wealth by locating kickbacks, contraband and other sources of undeclared income and effectively hide them in offshore accounts before the Tax Man can audit their Piggy Bank. The game has 17 levels, each with a different Tax Code and Tax Bracket. Those reaching the top level are exempted from the Tax Man, but are set upon by the Charity Hordes and The Paparazzi, seeking to knock the player down a few levels. Rated " MMMP" for Mo Money Mo Problems.

2) Staff Reduction of Doom: Up to 16 players compete on-line with each other over a dwindling numbers of staff positions within a global conglomerate. Each player is required to do absolutely anything possible to make themselves appear less expendable than the others. The Player is allowed a choice of sabotage tools, including Gossip and Blackmail. Fall prey to the Slander Lawsuit and lose everything. Successful players move up a level. All others are tossed from a 40-story building by a cackling caricature of Donald Trump. Land in a garbage can surrounded by homeless people and lose one life. Rated 'FSO' for Fu**ing Stressed Out.

3) Moving Violation: Patterned after many of the most popular driving games, this next generation game requires players to navigate a maze of traffic jams, road construction elderly drivers, car-jacking thugs and being cut off in traffic without shooting anyone.
Randomly targeted by small town policemen with ticket quotas, the goal is to make as many trips back and forth between home and work without accumulating too many tickets, losing ones license or insurance coverage. Or shooting anyone. Increasing level of difficulty as game avatar ages. But locate the Orb of Mid-life Crisis, buy a sports car and knock ten years off Player's age. Rated "BYTTD' for Bore Your Teen To Death

4) Sims Child Support: An interactive game, the Player must meet, marry and divorce a SIM, and gain control of child support payments before their financial stability is crushed. Players can play in one of two modes:
Philandering Pete or Fertile Fergie. In the Fertile Fergie mode, the player must reproduce as quickly as possible, gaining points and Child Support for each child born. In the Philandering Pete mode, the player must avoid marrying or divorce his SIM before she gives birth to more children than he can support. Pete avatar has an Incognito mode, while Fergie possesses the Turbo Lawsuit Power Ring. There are no levels in this game and the player who dies last wins. Rated "OC" for Oh Crap!

5) Castle of Cumpling Credit: This is an interactive game designed for many players. Players are required to acquire material goods and maintain their opulent lifestyle, while keeping their credit manageable. Players borrow and pay off Debt, looking for the perfect balance that allows them to climb the Social Ladder without being knocked off by falling sandbags of Minimum Payments. Players must carry water from the Well of Cheap Credit to irrigate their Investment Crop in order to advance. But beware The Margin Call of Doom, a nebulous capital sucking incubus that's always after your Lucky Charms. Or the Ogre of increasing interest rates that can send you back to Level One! 256 levels of increasing, agonzing difficulty. Rated 'AY' for All Ya'll.

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