Great news, everyone! Unemployment is down to 5.1%, the lowest its been since 2008! The American dream is resuscitated, pumping a feeble yet confident fist up into the air.
Well, except for millennials, that is, where unemployment is still at a resounding 13.8 % as of May 2015. Yeah, that’s right, if you’re anywhere from 18-29 years old, the supposedly stabilized economy doesn’t mean shit to you. Granted, this year’s millennial unemployment rate is better than last year, when it hovered over and above 15%. According to research from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, millennials are estimated to make up about forty percent of the unemployed in the U.S.
As one Newsweek article points out, even when millennials do manage to get the job, they make far less when “compared with the nation’s median income, versus people of that age a decade ago.” Which is, of course, not to mention the crippling debt many face following college. And it’s realities like these that twist the knife when you read another thinkpiece about how your generation just can’t grow the fuck up. We’d love to, America. But growing up kind of entails being allowed employment.
Thankfully, there is now a nihilistic and depressing game for us to air all our millennial grievances about the state of the job market for young people. Job Hunting Simulator is a simple yet powerful game: there is no music, no points, no winning. You can only click one button and it’s a button that supposedly sends out your resume to potential employers. This “SEND” button is the only thing you have any control over in the game world—your one and only domain. But it doesn’t really matter how many times you click it, because your resume will always come back with a big red “DECLINED” stamped across it, and a “DELETE” button to replace that “SEND” button. Your only recourse? To do the pointless process all over again.
The creator, known only as D0UBLEJUMP, boasts that Job Hunting Simulator will help any player “experience the thrill of reality!” The art style recalls the clean and looping design of Tinder or other such millennial app design philosophies. Even the online nature of Job Hunting Simulator captures another frustration for many applying millennials. As the Newsweek article says, young people are often frustrated by the new technology for job applications as well, which prove so impersonal and inconsequential that many never even hear back on why their application was not received. “You’re like, ‘I’ll do anything and apply for everything, but usually it’s an electronic filing and you’re spending all your time on it and never hear back,” says one Washington, D.C. graduate. There is no option to get feedback or learn from mistakes. You’re just left in an endless loop of failure, with no hope for improvement.
The hands-off experience of Job Hunting Simulator captures the sense that, when you apply for a job nowadays as a young person, you’re just another voice screaming into the void. Yeah, maybe we are having a hard time growing up. But I mean wouldn’t you when a bunch of internet randos give you more feedback on a Reddit forum than the people who supposedly need to hire you?
You can play Job Hunting Simulator on your browser for free.