The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), USA’s top body for domestic security and law enforcement, has unveiled a new project – “Don’t Be a Puppet” – in a bid to protect teens from “violent extremists”. And as part of the interactive website, the bureau commissioned a top-down game featuring a goat.
Called “Slippery Slope”, players must use left and right arrow keys to help the goat avoid obstacles and not fall down “the slippery slope to violent extremism”, the site explains. If that wasn’t as absurd a premise you’ve heard about a game’s message in the history of video games, it gets worse.
The goat slides across the surface, and offers no precise controls to avoid the obstacles to get through the levels. If the FBI thinks this is how retro games were back in the GameBoy era – as it is pictured running on a GameBoy-lookalike – then the agency has got it laughably wrong.
On top of that, the GameBoy turns into what is clearly a modern era tablet (read: iPad) once the game begins. As Gizmodo has already pointed out, this kind of absurdity runs throughout the website’s various panels. From confusing answers to a lack of understanding on how the Web runs, the FBI’s new initiative is a disastrous attempt at connecting with “young people” of America.
“We want teens to apply their critical thinking skills to this issue just like they would to any subject in school,” Jonathan Cox, head of the FBI Office of Public Affairs, the unit responsible for the concept and website, said in a statement. In a game where a goat runs around objects at the press of a key, there isn’t much room for “critical thinking”.
The FBI also released a brochure and flyer alongside the website to promote the website, with both adults and children smiling presumably while browsing the website. Highly unlikely in reality, we think.