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The Wolf in McClothing
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mcdinter.jpgWhen McDonald's Interactive took the stage at the recent International Serious Games Event 2006, it had more than just serious games to discuss: unfolding over the course of the speech was a similarly serious message about global corporate responsibility.

By running a simulation it had developed at the behest of its fast-food parent company, it had determined that their current business practices were untenable because of the impact it had on global ecology and the citizens of the world. Only by making radical shifts in corporate policy to the detriment of short term profitability could the simulation sustain an inhabitable planet through the end of the century, with the added benefit of a decrease in global poverty and hunger.

The problem, though, was that top corporate executives weren't keen on heeding the dire message their simulation bore out, so in a dramatic move, McDonald's Interactive announced it would be breaking off its ties with its parent and use its organization to help foster "ethical consumerism."

All in all a heartening tale of responsible practices, with just one hitch: all signs point to the entire speech, organization, and speaker being phony. Shortly after the contents of the speech and slides went online, red flags were quickly raised and further details rooted out. The speaker, Andrew Shimery-Wolf, seems to have emerged from nowhere, along with McDonald's Interactive as a whole, whose website has been active for just a few short months, and commenters on WaterCoolerGames have noted that simulation graphics from his presentation have been culled from various educational sources.

As others have pointed out, the speech has all the hallmarks, if not of La Molleindustria, creators of the recent McDonalds Videogame, then of the wider culture-jamming antics of a group like the Yes Men, and sure enough one WaterCooler commenter has reportedly received a response from McDonald's Interactive bearing the header of, a similarly founded long-time corporate activism group.

If the allegation bears out, it wouldn't be the first time rtmark has used its influence in the games sphere -- former Maxis employee Jacques Servin, now half of the Yes Men duo, used his position as SimCopter programmer to include an infamous easter egg that on certain dates would turn all of the sim-city's inhabitants into amorous "muscle studs" preoccupied only with kissing one other, as a reaction to both his working conditions and the "bimbo" moniker given to the game's female sims. Servin was fired for the prank after a controversy arose, but later admitted he received $5,000 from rtmark for his part in the prank.

Posted at 5:52


Did anyone else just really want a McDonalds after watching Super Size Me?

Posted by: Hungry McHungry at June 8, 2006 06:20 AM

Ewww no. I wanted to burn McDonald's to the ground!

Anyway if you really want to know the dark side of McDonalds, you should read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. You will never eat McDonalds again, I promise.

Posted by: Velmwend at June 8, 2006 01:01 PM

I haven't eaten fast food since I stopped working at McDonalds 5 years ago. I will probably give that "Fast Food Nation" a read; thanks for the tip.

Posted by: Amadeus at June 8, 2006 02:51 PM

Actually I read that and found it obvious and boring. It's not like people would really believe fast food was high quality, everyone has friends with horror stories. I need a Big Mac.

Posted by: Hungry McHungy at June 8, 2006 07:51 PM

Of course, everyone knows that while eating McDonalds for 30 days causes your insides to rot away, eating Burger King or KFC for 30 days is actually beneficial. Especially if you take up KFC's family bucket offers for each meal.

Posted by: Dargs at June 9, 2006 02:52 PM

It's all a wind-up chaps. Suprised at Edge for passing this off as news....

Posted by: droobus at June 9, 2006 02:55 PM

They don't pass it off as news, do they? It says "all signs point to the entire speech, organization, and speaker being phony." Might be worth actually reading the article before denouncing it.

Posted by: Tonk at June 12, 2006 12:29 PM

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