Most people, at some point will probably feel like their boss is trying to kill them. Hopefully very few employers actually have this as a goal. However, in Office Suicide Saga, you take the role of a horrible boss, trying to kill employees in his pursuit of money. The aptly named studio, Despair Games, explores themes of workplace abuse in this unusual browser game.
This unusual premise is something I’ve never seen before. There have been a few games that have work and suicide as a theme. Every Day The Same Dream comes to mind as one example. However, these are mostly art games that don’t put you in the shoes of the guy causing the deaths. In the game, you make employees miserable, overwork them, and eventually kill them. The boss is an exaggerated caricature of a crooked executive. His greed and willingness to dispose workers to turn a profit are at center stage.
However, the developers claim that there is more to the game than the apparent dark humor. Office Suicide Saga is meant to call attention to workplace related suicide through its satire. The game will apparently discuss subjects such as the exploitation of workers, inequality, unethical offshore practices, and safety issues. But can you discuss an issue as serious as suicide in a comedic way without deminishing its impact? This game will clearly feature dark humor, but depending on how the developers execute it, it might cross the line for many people. Drawing attention to the problem is a noble goal, but can it be done in a way that is effective? Can they do it in a way that isn’t disrespectful to those effected by suicide?
I haven’t seen enough of the game to answer these questions. At any rate, I feel like the developers will need to be careful in their approach. Office Suicide Saga’s goal is set at $9,690. The game only has 11 days left in its campaign. Anyone interested in the premise can try the open beta.