This isn't a game, I'm trying to teach you a lesson! (2011)

Curated by Michael Prior
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In recent years the internet has blown up in popularity, becoming widely available to the public. Younger generations born into this digital era spend countless hours exploring the internet for various purposes; one of them being video games. Although most games on the internet are purely for entertainment purposes, some artists and game designers have utilized the medium in order to create games that are aimed to teach others to lessons or new perspectives regarding societal issues, political values, capitalism etc. 1) In the McDonald's Videogame, created by MollenIndustria, you are given the opportunity to run the McDonald's corporation. Layered in tasks, from feeding the cows, to meetings in the board room, the player soon finds out the tough decisions one has to make in order to keep the value of their company at a high standing. The game envelopes the player and allows them to go for all of the greed. It sends a powerful message about corporations in America and is not solely for entertainment, making it an important innovation in the world of digital media art. 2) Attention Hog is another social commentary game in which you are a pig who goes around seeking the attention and love of anyone who passes buy. However if you do not continue to make other individuals love you, eventually you run out of health and die. This game, although cute in nature, illustrates the same behaviors seen in social networking websites, it represents the superficial relationships people try to maintain for some sort of social standing. As challenging and fun as this game is, it is an eye-opening experience. 3) War game is an interesting game that you never really get to play. When you are presented with the main menu, the first challenge is starting the gameplay. One you overcome this first obstacle, you are given several weapons options. The catch is each weapons application presents horrifying images accompanied by music, illustrating the terrors of war. You can then answer a series of questions that lead you to links for charities and humanitarian groups educating people about how awful war truly is, and what you can do to help. This is a powerful game that presents an intense image. It questions why we are fascinated with violent games gives the world a broader perspective on the effects of war. 4) Although this was a performative piece, COCKFIGHT ARENA, is a hilarious way of making games that deliver a powerful message. Two opponents, in front of a live audience, fight wearing chicken suits that are connected to a computer. The motions are relayed on screen using digital Chickens, and representing the brutal reality of Cock fights. 5) Due to recent news I felt this revamped version of Pong was an appropriate piece. Using the original game play style, the player is presented with an Obama vs. Osama Pong game. Of course, you are Obama, and your opponent (who is quite easy to beat) is Osama. This game represents the fact that people believe that events like this are carried out with the simplicity of playing a game; that war is a game. Similarly it illustrates America's confidence (or Cockyness) as a super power in the world.

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