October 18, 2006

Oystrygods Gaggin Oil God

by Nick Montfort · , 10:28 am

Ian Bogost announces his and Persuasive Games’ new Arcade Wire game, Oil God.

Wrath + Balance of Power = Oil God

You are an Oil God! Wreak havoc on the world’s oil supplies by unleashing war and disaster. Bend governments and economies to your will to alter trade practices. Your goal? Double consumer gasoline prices in five years using whatever means necessary: start wars, overthrow leaders, spawn natural disasters ? even beckon the assistance of extra-terrestrial overlords. The game explores the relationship between gas prices, geopolitics, and oil profits.

Rumor has it that Ian’s original game idea, Crack God, was deemed too controversial and not newsworthy enough by his editor.

3 Responses to “Oystrygods Gaggin Oil God”


  1. academhack » Blog Archive » Digital Games in Class Says:

    [...] ng one of these texts. But in the meantime you can check out Ian Bogost’s new game, Oil God! Bogost has created a series of “political” games, of [...]

  2. eben Says:

    It should have been named “Hell of Oil” after the ‘Hell of Sand’ sandbox-style games.

    I Love it. But also suck at it.

    I had an idea for a 9/11 Truth game similarly based on the ‘Hell of Sand’ games; you are given a number of means to attempt to bring down the WTC and various other buildings in the NY skyline, planes included. Except this simulation accounts for the temperature that steel melts at and the temperature airplane fuel burns at- Geez, it’s really hard to bring down those towers with just planes! In fact, it’s nearly impossible to recreate the effects of 9/11 without using the “demolitions” function!

    So edgy… so political… so neccesary.

    The disclaimer that Gonzalo Frasca offers at the intro to his “Sept 12th” sim assumes higher meaning:
    “This is not a game.”

  3. michael Says:

    When I first saw the comparison to Balance of Power (in Nick’s concept equation), it made me think of rich and complex simulations, which actually seem inappropriate for a newsgame. To function as the game equivalent of an editorial cartoon, newsgames need to exhibit a “get-in-and-get-out” interaction that quickly communicates the point the game makes. When I actually played Oil God, however, it did indeed function as a newsgame. There didn’t seem to be a complex Balance of Power-like simulation under the hood – you can make oil prices go up by raining plagues upon the oil producing countries, without thinking too much about which ones, why, in what order. Oil God communicates its point through the verbs it makes available to the player – the list of ways you can manipulate countries provides the commentary on how energy companies manipulate the market (and the callousness with which they do so).

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