In which a trend is noticed

“Kill each other or we’ll kill you all” said the evil disembodied voice.

There was a pause.

“Oh god another fucking trolley problem nerd” sighed the every man, sitting on the floor..

“LIKE OH MY GOD” said the girl pretending to be brave who might in the third act turn out to be a psycho, “Could we have a lunatic puppet-string-puller who for once moves beyond simplistic utilitarianism?”

“Or someone not reducing philosophy to Hobbesian simplicities?” screamed the old woman who was more hardcore than she appeared. 

“Maybe you could just have a youtube show and yell at liberals?” suggested the quiet disabled man who would almost certainly be used as a metaphor for society’s dark Nietzchean tendency to worship the superman. “Or watch Saw and masturbate? I mean it’s much cheaper.”

“WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR SAW FAN FIC” they yelled in unison, then sighed as they realised this was the inevitable early act unification against the oppressor which would soon be replaced with self interest, if experience was anything to go by.

“And Saw was pretty bad anyway!” said the funny one, and they all agreed. A few made jokes about insanely complicated traps and people who jerk off to Rube Goldberg.

“It’s not just bad philosophy,” said the smart immigrant who had not yet spoken. “It’s bad science. A brief psychological questionnaire could predict within 90% how we will all behave in this scenario. And we’ve got studies showing these thing in action.”

“Nor does it stand up as art,” sighed the brave girl who was clearly artistic because she had dyed hair. “We’re all cliches stuck in a cliche revealing a cliche”

“Well actually,” came the spooky disembodied voice, “I’m making a point about enslavement to corporations”

“No you’re not!” shouted back the old woman. “First of all, you don’t get to decide what your point is, the author has no singular authority. Second of all, by reinforcing that humans are monstrous and selfish, you’re just convincing them more and more that they deserve to be enslaved. You are doing the work of any force you might be hoping to criticise. And that’s being generous, and assuming your theme is visible through your endlessly recycled jetsam of stolen tropes.”

“Look,” said the voice. “I spent all summer setting this up and I could have been about doing the sex with hot ladies. So you’re going to shut up and play my game”

“I have a question” said the smart immigrant.


“Is this about ethics in games journalism?”

“Nice work” said the funny one.

There was some swearing on the intercom and the sound of something being knocked over. Probably he should have taped this earlier, the hostages thought to themselves. By the time the intercom came back on they had agreed amongst themselves to radically resist the oppressor by refusing to act, while of course recognising that it would lead to greater misfortune in a utilitarianist sense, yet reconciling that with an act of love and political resistance that might in fact have greater resonance and healing to the lives of countless others.

The disabled man did some shadow puppets and they ate the icecreams in the snack machine and generally, it was a pretty good film for once.

The sinister voice on the intercom wrote in his blog that the experiment was a complete success, because he actually meant to inspire people to work together, but nobody believed him or cared. A lot of the hostages had dogs and cats waiting for them, and they got to go home and hug them and that was awesome. Especially for the dogs.




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