Wake Up Sheeple: Goat Simulator Says Happiness Is Futile
As a result of a month-long game jam, Coffee Stain Studios has brought forth the darkest and most bleak game I’ve ever seen. Sure, it looks like a happy-go-lucky goat running around headbutting and licking things, but once you look past the surface you see the truly depressing message this game conveys. Goat Simulator is telling you that you’ll never be happy, and to try is madness.
As a goat in Goat Simulator, you have complete freedom. You can jump on trampolines, lick stuff, break windows; whatever you want. You can even interact with humans – interrupting their parties, invading their homes, chasing them with axes – all those things that other humans aren’t supposed to do. You are not constrained by societal norms, human laws, or even the laws of physics (see the ladder-climbing in the alpha trailer). Nobody is relying on you, waiting on you, or expecting things from you. It is so freeing it is almost uplifting; you can do whatever your heart desires.
While you’re a goat.
But of course, we aren’t goats, are we? We have jobs and chores and responsibilities. You can get arrested for chasing someone with an axe, you get fired if you spend the day jumping on a trampoline, and you have to pay if you jump through somebody’s window. We, as humans trapped in society, cannot simply do as we please: we are forced to adhere to the norms and laws set out before us.
We are not as free as the goat – we cannot shirk our responsibilities to go seek happiness. Our only escape – our only glimpse at freedom – is through the eyes of a goat wandering through the city. The goat is the everyman’s desire to be free, where in reality, the everyman is trapped in capitalistic slavery unable to do what he really wants. Wake Up, Sheeple! This isn’t a harmless game about a goat: it is a piercing look at our existence, and a bleak look at the meaningless loop that makes up our future.