I'm reading the creator's (Frank Lantz) book now and decided to try this game. I'd heard vague whispers of it over the years that were never expanded upon. I didn't understand it for a few minutes, started to understand, then fully understood (obviously not true) at 30 minutes and am now obsessed.

I have to think about it a lot more, but I just had my coffee and am procrastinating from my actual job due to ADHD, so here's an essay anyway.

It's fun because it's a combination of the raw psychology behind what makes us want to engage with its systems and the absurdity of capitalism/market economics. By telling you nothing it forces you to make sense of it in real time through trial and error which is extremely mentally satisfying as a game while giving you a high speed education in supply and demand, market manipulation, and capital.

From a game design perspective it's also a proof of concept that "nothing" can constitute a game. It challenges you to consider what a game is and that maybe everything is a game. That then helps you understand the violent psychology behind Wall Street capitalists without having to empathize with them because they're clearly sociopaths.

It's a lightspeed existential nightmare capitalism simulator, which is essentially life but faster without the risk of starvation.

10/10 would buy paperclips

Reviewed on Feb 02, 2024