The killing in computer games isn’t all ‘blast’em with your BFG’ or ‘cast a spell with the Blade of Thringgarrr’. You can now administer an unpleasant end using nothing more than some misplaced pig shit.
Two new games have brought food system politics to cyberspace. In Bacteria Salad, your mission is to produce spinach and tomatoes without poisoning your consumers. And chances to poison there are a-plenty, what with your fields ravaged by loose-bladdered cows, pigs and ‘agroterrorists’. The politics of the game are pretty raggedy, and it gets dull quickly, but worth having a look at just to hear the priceless line
“Attention shoppers. Making salad? Consider chard and arugula. They’re tasty, and easy on the bowel.”
A far more sophisticated (in terms of politics and gameplay) is the McDonald’s Videogame from Italian producers, La Molle Industria. In it, you balance soy production, cattle slaughtering, employee management, advertising and cash-flow to keep your international burger conglomerate ahead of the various pitfalls presented by meddling environmentalists, unionists and food-poisoned consumers.