Game Review: Oiligarchy
November 19, 2008
Freeware Flash Game
Oiligarchy is probably the best persuasive game I have played to date. You essentially take control of Big Oil right after orld War II, and turn the oil business into a global scale pillagefest. The game mimics real life in the fact that you can give the government money to allow oil drilling in Alaska, or to wage war in Iraq so that you can drill there, too. In this sense, Oiligarchy does a great job of turning real aspects of the oil industry into game aspects. For example, I understand that real oil economics isn’t just basic supply & demand, but, for the purpose of the game, it gets the job done while keeping it simple.
The best thing about Oiligarchy is its message, and how the game almost plays itself. The oil industry is a horribly flawed one, and is definitely not sustainable. The better you exploit resources and make money, the sooner you will become unable to meet demand. Oiligarchy really nails this point, because even if oil is used at a sustainable level, it is still not a renewable resource. One of the largest industries in the world is becoming obsolete, and all the people in charge can do is delay the inevitable collapse.
The odd thing is that when making a game like this is that the ultimate goal is for the game to become irrelevant. The creators made this game to expose the oil industry for the horrible scam that it is, and if we ever reach a point where we are independent from oil, this game will serve as only a reminder of what once was. While the game will still contain the same message, any contemporary relevance will be gone.