Want to Be the 1%? There's an App for That
CNBC.com News Editor
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be the 1 percent — one of the wealthiest people in America — it’s your lucky day! There's an app for that. Which means you can be the 1% anywhere — in the airport or in the tub.
Spur of the Moment Games is about to launch their debut mobile app called, “Clear the Park,”where you get to play the role of an executive who “clears the park” of protesters by throwing things at them from your office or luring them away with prizes like Radiohead tickets, Ben & Jerry’s coupons — or a sandwich. If you win, you get that gorgeous park view back for when you’re kicking back in the corner office. If the protesters win, they may turn your office into a Ben & Jerry’s or something — Sorry, I meant a Ken & Gerri’s.
(Ben & Jerry’s came out as an early supporter of the Occupy movement. The developers have approached the socially-conscious ice-cream maker but haven’t yet gotten the approval to use their name. So, for now, it's Ken & Gerri’s.)
Brad Thorne, one half of the dynamic developer duo that created the game and a self-professed member of the “Daily Show” generation, said it’s a part of a new concept they call “newsplay” — where you take real-life news events and explain them via videogames.
“We’re trying to see if we can end up being the only game app inside the news section of the app store,” Thorne quipped.
“People don’t pay for news content. They’ll pay for games,” Thorne explained – a concept he says many companies still don’t get. “They’re still trying to make the iPad a newspaper!” he said.
So basically, “Clear the Park” is what would happen if the “Daily Show” and the movie “Office Space”got together and gave birth to a mobile app.
Before “Clear the Park,” Thorne and his partner Jerry Broughton, who run a mobile-marketing firm Likestyle, launched a free web-app that allows users to stage their own personal protest. You upload a photo and a protest slogan, and it mashes them together, and adds mini-protesters at the bottom of your photo. Users have uploaded their spliced photos to the Spur of the Moment Facebook page, including one that’s a kitten in a field staging a protest over litter boxes and another that’s a protest of bad office coffee.
"We had pretty bad office coffee. I used the web-app to create an Occupy protest and fired it off to Jerry. It was good for a laugh," Thorne said.
The pair came up with the whole concept for “Clear the Park” in about 24 hours with the help of a LOT of coffee. Hence the name of their newsplay gaming arm, “Spur of the Moment Games.”
Thorne said with newsplay, they hope to capture a wider audience beyond gamers.
“Maybe we open up a whole new category of people who don’t consider themselves gamers at all,” he said. “You know, your flight gets pushed back 45 minutes — and there’s only so many times you can check your email.”
And even though “Clear the Park” may initially sound like it’s pro-1 percent, the creators meant it as a way to support the Occupy movement — but also educate people about what it’s like to be on the other side.
The tagline is, “Being 1% is 100% Awesome.”
It’s hilarious but Thorne said if you believe that — seriously, you’re not getting it.
The game costs 99 cents and they’ll donate part of the proceeds to the protesters — probably in the form of gift cards.
They plan to release it in November. It’s currently available for pre-order at OccupyMyLife.com.
I don’t know about you, but I’m totally ready to throw something out the window.
Let the games begin!
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