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June 06, 2006

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» Taking the "Happy" out of the "Meal" from HiddenJester's Sniping Post
Has everybody seen this McDonald's Interactive thing? If not, go read it, I'll wait. In essence, McDonald's has this interactive sim arm that was created to train up-and-coming management. And those guys built some hyper-complex fast food chain simulat... [Read More]

» McDonald's Interactive Sticks it to McDo... or do they? from Water Cooler Games
According to their website, McDonald's Interactive was founded to help the parent company strategize about future markets. Yesterday, they announced their "intention to split from McDonalds." Why? Said co-director Andrew Shimery-Wolf: "We can no longer... [Read More]

» Was the International Serious Games Event Punk'd? from Kotaku
It's starting to look like we weren't the only people Punk'd by the McVideo game story. Water Cooler Games has an interesting story up about the whole thing, as does Alice over at Wonderland. Whether or not these guys work... [Read More]

» Gaming the System: Dissenting Opinions from ProphecyBoy
The heat has kept me from getting a decent night's sleep in days, with the side effect that I've been a little ADD since yesterday. While that helped me write a bunch yesterday, it also meant that I didn't have... [Read More]

Comments

Aluvius

Maybe I'm just the eternal cynic, but this smacks of bs to me.

geedeck

Yeah, I think it's BS too. I just don't think a game maker could do world modeling, mcdonalds or not. Where's the data come from? The amount of data needed to predict these things... Has humanity, let alone McDonalds collected this?

Shennanigans.

mutex

This is so clearly fake. Just look at the registrar info for mcdonaldsinteractive.com:

Registrant:
Marc Cohen
1 Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
IT

Domain name: MCDONALDSINTERACTIVE.COM

Administrative Contact:
Cohen, Marc info@mcvideogame.com
1 Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
IT
3902313092

Technical Contact:
Hosting Aruba.it, Technical Department technical@staff.aruba.it
Piazza Garibaldi 8
Soci, AR 52010
IT
+39.57551571 Fax: +39.575515790

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 11-Apr-2006.
Record expires on 11-Apr-2007.
Record created on 11-Apr-2006.

Domain servers in listed order:
DNS.TECHNORAIL.COM 62.149.128.2
DNS2.TECHNORAIL.COM 62.149.132.2

Pag

Not to mention there's no reason why they'd need to simulate climate for a training game about managing McDonalds. If they want to take global warming into account for some reason they can just use the results of the existing studies into the program. As big as McDonald is, I highly doubt their executives can make decision that have such global impacts. All of McDonald's could magically disapear tomorow and it probably wouldn't change much of anything on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Alice

If it's fake, it's pretty wild that these guys stood up in front of a huge audience and told a giant lie, though, isn't it?

I guess if it's activism, it'll certainly get them *some* column inches, but it's still bloody weird. Why hide it, if it's a protest?

Alan DeWitt

Have the Yes Men struck again?

(http://www.theyesmen.org/)

Rich

Those notes were from me, and I have to admit, my first response was to call "hoax!". But, as Alice says, even if it's a hoax, it's still interesting that games (or more strictly, a front-end to a sim) are a medium in which people fancy pulling off a hoax this complex.

It could be Yes-men style, but I was thinking at the time that it was sanctioned by McD's, and we were just meant to think "sock it to the man!" while the Man watched: any hoax would be on us, thinking that this wasn't still part of a subtle McD's CSR effort. But it's pretty subtle for a multinational if it is, right?

The address on the whois lookup from mutex is the same as the one on the card I got from Andrew, so they aren't trying to hide anything. Personally, I think a more parsimonious explanation is that they're trying to have a site outside McDs for when they get sacked, and they aren't too savvy at using the web.

The guys at Kotaku have the wrong game, by the way: it's not the Italian Flash game from a while back they're talking about, but one supposedly developed in-house that looks way different. And the photos and presentation on their site are from the talk I was at.

The biggest question mark for me is the one Paq brought up: why add an "externalities" module in, if you're not already pretty sure it'll have an effect? I'd love to hear from the guys at MIT who worked with them on this.

Ben Sawyer

I posted this bit of hacked script writing on Watercooler but I'll post it here too... Done in the vein of the old 60's show...

So did you see the name of the presenter...

Andrew Shimmery-Wolf

"Holy Anglo-Saxon Hyphenated Names Batman!"

"You're right Robin except it's a Sheep in Wolf's clothing"

"What does that mean Batman?"

"Well Robin, the Wolf is McDonald's and Shimmery means to shine a light on something and the light is shining on a Wolf"

"And McDonald's is the Wolf Batman!"

"Exactly Robin. and Andrew if rewritten as just A gives us A Shimmery Wolf. The Riddler wants us to know that they are the sheep in wolve's clothing a cunning achievement that someone might have seen before it's too late."

"Holy Sherlock Holmes Batman!"

"Apparantly not in time Robin."


This is a play of course Robin - it's the Riddler at work.

Rich

=] ben, you're wasted over there. Come over here and write conspiracy dramas!

mutex

maybe I should have explained myself some more. The information isn't fake because of the address. In fact, the address is one of the things they actually got right.

It is fake for 2 reasons: 1, the domain was registered 2 months ago. 2, it is managed by tucows.

Now, if this *was* mcdonalds corporate there is an almost certainty they would use the same DNS and server colocation facilities as the company does. A simple whois lookup on mcdonalds.com shows:

Registrant:
McDonald's Corporation
One McDonald's Plaza
1 Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
US

Domain Name: MCDONALDS.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
McDonald's Corporation dns.manager@MCD.COM
One McDonald's Plaza
Oak Brook, IL 60523
US
630-623-7345 fax: 630-623-5033

Record expires on 11-Jul-2006.
Record created on 12-Jul-1994.
Database last updated on 6-Jun-2006 11:40:31 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

MIA01.DIGEX.COM 216.255.129.249
MIA02.DIGEX.COM 216.255.130.249
BIGMAC1.MCD.COM 152.140.28.201

Notice the same street address, however the IP's and domain name registrars are very different. They aren't even in the same IP space!

As if the overt green party, anarachy, and socialist activism buzzwords weren't enough this hoax totally fails on being an accurate technical copy of mcdonalds in every form.

Alice

I think it's pretty clear that it's some sort of staged thing, although Kotaku's link to Molleindustria doesn't do it for me. No-one seems to have unveiled it as such yet either, which is curious.

We're waiting!

Rich

Watercooler Games has a pretty comprehensive overview: http://www.watercoolergames.org/archives/000563.shtml

Looks like ISGE got McPwned...

Ben Sawyer

So it's pretty much confirmed to be the Yes Men. We've dug out most of the facts and I've sent them to the Serious Games Listserv and to Ian who will post them on Watercooler.

Apparantly they had their own camera crew there and they interviewed people who they got to sign releases (not everyone signed apparantly) and so this will end up on the Web site.

I would say some people got brilliantly fooled.

David Hayward

Yes, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonano (The Yes Men) are posing in the header graphics of McDonalds Interactive.

They've done this kind of thing lots of times. They once proposed a free market "solution" to democracy whereby people could auction their vote to the highest bidder. They've also fed students lots of free hamburgers then given a talk on recyling Western consumer's poo into third world fast food, and only that group of students have so far reacted negatively :)

Florian Eckhardt

Sorry, guys. You're wrong. This has very definitely been prepetrated by the guys behind the Molle Industria game.

See this in the registrant's info?

Administrative Contact:
Cohen, Marc info@mcvideogame.com
1 Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
IT
3902313092

Go to www.mcvideogame.com. It's the same game at Molle Industria on a different url. They are very much the perps.

This was fascinatingly bogus.

gillo

Maybe Molleindustria and Yes Men did something together?

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