Did Elon Musk secretly make this video game?
A simple, new browser game from called MTA Country (from Everyday Arcade) offers a very pro-business solution for fixing New York City’s beleaguered subway system: Hand its management over to private interests.
The game, which plays like a subway-themed, side-scrolling endless runner, quite literally spells that out as you play. As you guide a single subway car along on a length of track, you collect old, now defunct subway tokens as well as a series of letters that, together, spell out “PRIVATIZE.”
The game’s basic premise puts you in the shoes of Gregg T., a living meme and NYPD lawyer with a questionable history, as you take the subway to work. Two smiling guys named Andrew and Bill — NY governor Andrew Cuomo and mayer Bill De Blasio — hop aboard to lend a helping hand.
As you play, the subway car moves ever-forward on its own. (So it’s already nothing like the actual NYC subway, which stops frequently and without warning.) You click the screen to jump, which allows you to avoid obstacles like pits and track fires.
There’s even a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nod to New York’s beloved Pizza Rat. A short playing time and generous checkpoints make it easy to “beat” this game.
When you do, however, a message is waiting. As soon as you collect the “E” in “privatize,” the game greets you with a triumphant message: “HYPERLOOP UNLOCKED!” Hyperloop is a proposed mass transit solution cooked up by a team pulled from two Musk-owned companies: Tesla and SpaceX.
The game is making a not-so-subtle point that NYC’s subway system is more trouble than it’s worth to repair and maintain. Allowing a private interest like Hyperloop to take control of the situation could be a positive move in the long-term.
Whether or not you agree with the underlying message, the game itself is a cute waste of time. You can play it now at mtacountry.info.