Oiligarchy — A Game About the Oil Industry

Game logo.

Oiligarchy, the administrative game in which the player is the CEO of a major oil company, aims, according to the words in the game itself, to “turn this sticky black material into gold by all means necessary.” Thus the player must give to the company where he works increasing profits making the world depend on oil.

Already by the name of the game — oil and oligarchy — it is quite clear that the CEO’s goal is nothing more than to create an oligarchy made up of oil magnates rich enough to interfere with US policy and control the US government secretly. So much so that in one part of the game is quoted a thought by philosopher John Dewey, quoting: (…) politics is the shadow cast on society by big business. This passage clearly demonstrates the parallel between the game and the reality, and, moreover, the dangers that extreme oil consumption can pose on the planet.

Oiligarchy begins in the year 1946 in the state of Texas where the first act is the so-called prospecting, that is, the study of the underground to find out whether or not there are oil reserves that, when found, will lead to the next action, or that is, deploy a pumpjack or a drilling rig. In addition to Texas there are four more places that can be explored for black gold: Alaska, Venezuela, Nigeria and Iraq. There is also Washington DC, where the player can interfere with US policy to increase his company’s earnings and use the US Army to swap government regimes hostile to the oil company’s interests and topple nationalizing governments. the oil industries. The player must always make his shareholders happy, because if profits are scarce the CEO will be fired (and voilà! Game over).

Game over.

The starting money is just enough to explore the state of Texas, but the player can click a button that takes him to next year, making the CEO have more money than before if he sold barrels of oil the previous year. By the time 1947 comes the cover of a newspaper, The Petroleum Times, with the headline: The Green Revolution: Fossil-fueled nitrogen fertilizers predicted to increase world grain production by 250 percent, which increases by 7% worldwide dependence on oil. After advancing two years the CEO arrives in 1950, when the election for president of the United States will take place. The part of the presidential election is interesting in the game, as the player can make partisan donations at will (and finance). He can finance his party for years, and the party, thanks to the subsidized money, will be in power forever, thus creating constitutional amendments and acts that favor the oil company. However, such actions can cause discontent in the population because of governmental neglect of soil, seas and especially air pollution. Then the party, unaware of its opposition, will be the most unpopular and therefore have the least chance of winning the next election.

Congress.

A tip of the game is to donate to both parties. That way, voters will continue to believe they live in a democracy and you will always have a servant of your interests in the presidency of the United States. Through money the country’s directions are usurped by ordinary citizens and are guided by the interests of the oil oligarchy, as it controls the Oval Office and the US Congress in the game.

If you invest heavily in a party during the election you can make the president a representative of the interests of the oil industry and this will make the CEO, ie the player, attend meetings where the US president meets with the military. to devise plans with the goal of creating favorable conditions for the oil company, so the first secret mission is to finance Shiites in Iraq to destabilize and perhaps overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein that nationalized the oil industry and prevents the oil company that The player represents act in Iraq.

Invasion of Iraq.

The next mission against the Iraqi government is to use US ally Kuwait to cause damage to Iraq’s economy. This provokes an armed conflict that culminates in the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam’s troops and such belligerent act justifies US intervention on the grounds of re-establishing order in the country by finally providing the exploration of oil wells with the speech of leading to democracy and the free market for Iraq. Saddam Hussein is overthrown and the invasion of Iraq means that peace will never be established there, as the US president will have to send troops to Iraqi territory every year due to the power vacuum left by Saddam’s overthrow and the threat posed by terrorist groups. Another mission that takes place in the Middle East is called Create a Monster. It is about financing an Islamic radical to terrorize citizens in order to end Iran’s internal dissent. This makes terrorists always confront US troops in Iraq which makes political stability in Iraq unreachable.

Game time goes by and the company’s profits increase until the United States suffers the terrorist attack in which planes destroy two towers in New York and the US government uses this tragedy to gain greater control of US society. A mission shortly after the bombing is to send anthrax to journalists and politicians with the aim of provoking widespread panic in the population so that the government can approve acts that increasingly limit society’s freedom. Another country trapped by the tentacles of the oil industry is Venezuela, the first mission of the US government to favor the oil company is to create opposition parties in the country, while the second mission in South America infiltrates secret agents and makes contacts with officials. high-ranking military personnel.

Venezuela.

The last mission in Venezuela is to finance a coup d’état that overthrows the regime hostile to the interests of the oil company and puts in place a government that allows the free exploitation of oil reserves in the country. In Venezuela the place for oil extraction is a forest that is near the sea, so when the player throws the rocking the pumpjack or the drilling tower that falls is a barrel with parachute that when approaching the ground destroys several trees and when it touches the earth, the suction stick pump or the tower disappears. If the operation did not lead to a coup d’état, the Venezuelan government would nationalize the oil industry, and the United States for being hostage to oil tycoons would have to intervene in the country to secure the player’s profits.

In Nigeria, the situation is that the oil reserves are in the lands of a people called Ogoni who are totally against the exploitation of their soil to obtain black gold, as this would pollute the river and the land. However, the Nigerian government is extremely corrupt and through money the CEO can destroy the Ogoni, so the player pays a certain amount that obliterates the natives’ village. In this African country everything is solved on the basis of money, as it pays the government to ignore pollution, kill activists, send troops to protect oil-extracting bombs, execute ogoni resistance militants and even divert part of the production to a militia in the Niger delta as a way to prevent it from disrupting oil production and transport.

Nigeria.

The picture of these countries is appalling, but it does not compare with the disasters experienced by the United States where an ecological tragedy caused by the oil company occurs in Alaska when millions of gallons of black gold are spilled into the sea. People are becoming aware that overconsumption and heavy dependence on oil are driving the world into chaos and destruction. Then she protests in front of the US Congress and demands changes such as the adoption of renewable energy and the creation of sustainable cities, cars and industries.

However, the farther you go in time the more disasters caused by the high dependence on oil. There is a new religion in the US that calls for a ban on consumerism, gangs take gas stations all over the country, and worldwide food distribution collapses. Wheat farms are heavily guarded because of food shortages and millions of people in the West starve to death and cannibalism is recurring in the southern United States. With the reduction of oil reserves the company is looking for a new way to produce such raw material, so factories are created where people are burned obtaining fifty barrels of oil per year. Such an inhuman act is published in the headline of that newspaper mentioned at the beginning of this text as the solution to the decline of oil reserves and world overpopulation.

Speaking of overpopulation a neomalthusian party comes to power in the United States and sets a quota of 1.3 children per couple, large migrations occur and the government sees the threat of separatism in various parts of the country. There is a rise in the temperature of the planet and natural resources become rare and the CEO’s money no longer transforms much on the planet as there are no more oil wells to be explored, as all have already been discovered and are depleted. It can fill everywhere on the map with factories that use humans to produce oil, but this does not meet the high demand. But the player holds the future of the world in his hands and he can either save the planet or destroy it.

Mad world.

At one point the entire US population is against the ruling party as it remains a lackey of the oil company, but in the next election the CEO can simply donate only to the opposition party to win the election and continue to favor the interests of the oligarchy that controls the country. Thus, measures that could end oil dependence are never implemented and the world is in high demand, but without any production of barrels of stone oil. This leads the world into a final nuclear war over the world’s remaining natural resources, the game says that several atomic mushrooms are on CNN, that the light from the player’s apartment is gone and that he can now enjoy his last moments and humanity to think about what it did. This is one of the possible endings of the game, but this is just one of the four possible endings of the game. The second is that the player can simply be fired for not having participated in the start of the election game and other oil companies take on the role of interfering with US policy. The third ending is titled Farewell West, and the following is a description of this ending:

Rise and Fall of a civilization.

The final possible end is for the player, after several years of funding the political parties, to simply stop giving money to them. This causes the government to break free from the shackles of the oil oligarchy and answer the people’s clamor by implementing measures that destroy oil dependence not only on the United States, but on the entire planet. New technologies are discovered, electric car manufacturing is approved, black gold companies are highly taxed, public transportation becomes the norm as bicycles and mankind only consume organic products. When the dependency decreases drastically a screen with wind turbines appears, a city in the background and the field with a final message for the player. The title of this message is Enjoy your retirement and the text says:

A sustainable future.

This ending shows how popular pressure can change the planet’s energy source and that an infinite consumption of finite products will only lead humanity to extinction. The future of our species is in our hands and it is up to each of us to help create a world in which the human race annihilates itself in a nuclear war or make the last quote in this text a reality creating a harmonious civilization with nature and with itself.

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