Laughter is the best medicine for pain and this new online game, which appeared just a few days ago, cleverly parodies the austerity measures which have dominated politics in Athens and across Europe in recent weeks.
The official Facebook page of the Random Austerity Measure Generator game gathered more than 2,200 likes during its first day on July 15 and continues to grow. The creators of the game have chosen to remain anonymous, but left readers with the following message:
… made for fun. Help Greek people overcome the crisis by enjoying a nice coffee on the Greek islands!
Participants are asked to click and see what extra actions Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, Athens’ former Finance Minister Varoufakis, and even debt-troubled Italy and Portugal have to take to please German Chancellor Merkel and the EU's most controversial proponent of austerity, German Finance Minister Schaeuble.
Once in play they can make “Tsipras listen to Justin Bieber for 69 hours while on heavy drugs”, or have Italy “give 11 iPhones to 4% of its kids while leaving the others with old mobiles to create jealousy and envy”, while Spain must “have its prime minister to stand on his one foot for 42 hours”. Another options forces “Varoufakis to dance and sing ‘My Anaconda’ 14 times in front of Merkel.”
Global Voices authors tested the game — for research purposes, of course — and came up with some hilarious results:
My random #Austerity measure. What's yours? http://t.co/g9yOdfiLFW #ThisIsACoup pic.twitter.com/84VeigoG8l
— Joey Ayoub جووي أيوب (@joeyayoub) July 17, 2015
that's pure evil! http://t.co/ZZwW9OpZqs #austerity pic.twitter.com/fYeJqDl1zR
— Elaine R. (@Elaine_Rigas) July 18, 2015
The results aren't the only humorous aspect of the game. The loading bar also features some sarcastic commentary on recent events and actions taken by Eurozone and EU leaders during the Eurogroup with Greece's fate hanging in the balance. These include “bringing democracy”, “closing some banks”, “deciding for you”, “bringing some coups”, “discussing stuff”, “seem serious and caring”, “voting stuff” and the personal favourite of this author:
The game provides an opportunity to find moments of laughter amid gloomy talk of creditors, bailouts, ‘Grexit’ and austerity. Give it a shot and let us know what you got!