Amidst my dissertation research, I was searching for games that would have some sort of ideology or ideologically saturated education behind them. I was elated when I found this simple but satisfying game by Colestia, called Post/Capitalism. It is available to play for free at the indie games website itch.io.
The goal of the game is to turn a sad city spoilt by capitalism into a post-capitalist one. In the capitalist city, all is wrong: education is deadly expensive, people are manipulated by their wifi-fuelled calendars and workplace managers, there are plenty of new apartments which are yet unaccessible to those who need them (i.e. the homeless), precarity dominates (companies always hiring and firing), and tons of products go to waste.
The player has to ‘click’ their way to utopia, fixing one spoilt piece at a time, but as it turns out: sometimes fixing one thing makes another go back to its harmful, capitalist state. You can then find out about the link between the two and learn the basic flaws of the capitalist system. For example, “Land is treated as a commodity”, “Consumption is treated as a chance for profit”, “Basic needs are commodified”. You can then treat these flaws into red crystals, which go something like: “Consumption is not subordinated to financial gain”, “Land is treated as a commons”, or “Basic needs are provided as a right” (truly utopian, right?).
You’ll likely have to click and drag a lot before you achieve the utopian state in the picture below (green background and red crystals in each corner). If you actually read the captions, you could learn a few things about capitalism and its critique. I would say that this is a very pleasant game and I would like to see more games like this, explaining various concepts, not necessarily rooted in the Marxist critique of society. And when I think about it, making games like this could actually be an effective way for geographers to revise – through doing something practical that could also benefit others.
Now that’s some innovative online learning.
(And by the way, why are all the crystals red?)
You can support the game and its creator by becoming a patron and donating any amount of money on the itch.io website. Itch.io promotes modern patronage and exists to support independent game makers.
If you’ve played the game or know similar games to this (or just other fun games), let me know! I’d be actually interested.