A good free-to-play game is a little like a religion. The gameplay has you coming back every day to perform rituals for an abstract goal, and sometimes a little money can help you reach that goal faster. Wait, that last one only counts for influencing mortals.
Buying or selling positions of influence within Christian churches is called simony, and Simony is also the title of Ian Bogost’s new game that lets you buy your way to the top of the leaderboards. Leigh Alexander at The Creators Project summarizes how the game’s profits will go towards funding the Museum of Contemporary Art where the game is displayed on an elevated pedestal.
The top entrants on the leaderboard will form a jury that decides how the game’s earnings will be spent on behalf of MOCA, which means playing the game and spending money on it is essentially a way to buy influence in the museum itself. Even players that don’t attend the installation itself can play along by downloading the Simony app, which goes live on the App Store this Friday.