The Employee

The salaryman’s tragic tale turned into an efficient videogame theater

Videogames about the drudgery of working in a dead-end job, pushing piles of paper off a desk, are as old as, well … almost as old as videogames. One of the first was probably Takeshi no Chōsenjō, the 1986 game directed by Takeshi Kitano (known for the game show Takeshi’s Castle as well as starring in and directing his own films), which began by having you roam a Japanese city working as a salaryman. You stuck to the dull daily routine of a salaryman until you quit the job and worked out what else you could do. But Takeshi no Chōsenjō wasn’t meant as a…


The Meeting captures the surreal bliss of falling asleep at work

The Meeting by Matt Bethancourt is a simulation of the secret ritual of the office gathering. It plays almost uncannily similar to those HR-mandated “hang outs” that kick off your work week, where Cindy airs her unending grievances about the break room bandit and everyone votes on when to have the office Christmas party. Following a minimal title screen, The Meeting drops you right into a room where the din of ringing phones underscores the garbled speech of a Peanuts teacher, which presumably belongs to your boss.  give in, let go  But your true enemy in The Meeting is not…


An unusual Grand Rapids coffeeshop gets a videogame tribute

There’s a building that has sat at the west end of Grand Rapids, Michigan for over a century. It used to be a bank but has since been transformed into a coffee shop called The Bitter End. It sells loose leaf teas, Ghirardelli mochas, and something called a “bulletproof Tibetan coffee.” Its menu is trying to be chic as is the case with most modern coffee shops. But the shell of the building that houses all of these trade goods hasn’t lost its history. During the renovation, the owners dressed up those old bricks to fit the Neoclassical styling they…