McDonald's Video Game & Virgin Cola (Richard Branson)

by Pat Fish

16th May 1998

On Thu, 14 May 1998, Cathy Goeggel wrote:
>I just heard an interview with Richard Branson (Virgin Air, records etc.)
>He is introducing a new cola in the US - already available in some states.
>Does anyone have any info on it?

Virgin software (part of Branson's empire) did a nasty video game for McDonald's, which is less game than brainwashing. A friendly and helpful Ronald meets some multi-cultural kids and enlists them into a platform type game. Gameplay itself is good, but it would be invaluable to learn how they decided to make the game the way it is. Too bad it wasn't brought up at the McLibel trial (maybe it was?).

Aside from further ingratiating Ronald's image into the minds of children, the game also rewards kids when they attack gophers and birds. I gave a copy of the game to Bryan Pease and he noted that the kids ini the game were fat. I didn't even notice this aspect -- but it's perhaps an effort to "normalize" obesity by capitalizing on this "body acceptence" craze. This is also the ONLY program I've ever seen that defeats the Amiga's keyboard reset (and I've easily seen over 10,000 programs on this platform since 1985) and takes over the machine-- you can NOT exit the game except by switching off. You see a Virgin airliner fly by again and again till you power down.

I'm rather suprised that AR mags haven't yet said anything about the game. Maybe the McLibel site has info on it?

Computer Professionals for Earth & Animals has been planning an article on the game for it's E-newsletter. If there was sufficient interest from a magazine or the like, the article and resulting images could be published.

Before I get 3 zillion requests for this evil game, let me say that you need one of: Amiga, CD-32, CD-TV, Video Toaster, Wonder-TV, Prevue Guide box, or some other Amiga-compatible device. I'm sure the game is available for the evil Winduds95/Intel platform and possibly the Mac. If you're not lucky enough to have an Amiga, try UAE, an Amiga emulator-- it's far from perfect but it runs a lot of old pre-AGA Amiga programs if you have a very fast computer.

Pat Fish

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