OK Boomer: The Game

by E.I. Wong

humor
2019

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Number of Reviews: 4
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Bitter screed, March 16, 2021

OK Boomer: The Game is quite simply an expression of anger. Perhaps it could be called an expression of righteous anger if we're being generous. I have no doubt that there was a point to writing it - the author clearly sought, and hopefully got, some catharsis out of the deal. But is there a point to reading it? Well...

The game employs humor to comment on social issues, but the humor is relentlessly mean-spirited, and the message is handled flippantly enough that it mostly feels like it boils down to "I am angry at people who are like this." You're cast in the role of a straw man, the incarnation of every negative "boomer" stereotype you can think of, and then spend the entire game being a rich pig-headed jerk (because that's all the game allows you to be). Well, actually, that's all contingent upon you playing as a straight white cisman. You have the option to play very briefly as a gay black woman, in which case the game proceeds somewhere along these lines (to paraphrase only a little bit): "Your life sucks and then you die. Now I will punish you by making you play as a straight white cisman." See what I meant when I said the humor is mean-spirited?

The phrase "straw man" keeps popping back into my head because it not only describes the main protagonist - it feels like a concept that is at the very heart of the game's ethos. This is not a nuanced take; this is us-versus-them ad absurdum.

So, if you think it might be amusing to spend a few minutes hating on the rhetorical construct of an evil boomer, enemy of all young and progressive thinkers and aren't bothered by the possibility that it might alienate actual people who don't fit the stereotype, maybe you'll get something out of this. Personally, I did not find much value in playing OK Boomer. There's not a lot of depth and there's not a lot of levity either. It's just an expression of someone's anger, directed at a certain group of people, all the way through.