Games of 2022: Betrayal at Club Low was the best take on the weird world of work

Betrayal at Club Low wants me to know right off the bat that things aren’t going to go my way, thanks to a spontaneous blast of canal steam drenching me in hot, rancid dirt. It’s this unfortunate abandonment to chaos that drives me — I probably stink and look like shit, but the show has got to go on. The show, in this case, consists of me showing up for my job as a pizzaiolo/undercover agent, dishing out cakes at Club Low while trying to help another agent trapped inside. This isn’t just a game about work, it’s a game about the unbeatable universal high of get away with shit while working.

The act of labor – diligent labor, paid labor, side quests for extra coins or experience – is an integral part of many games, and we’re increasingly seeing artists and developers using their labor to maim the rigid seams of capitalism (1 Especially I am enthusiastic about the subversive work/life simulation by Joel Jordan time bandit). Betrayal at Club Low takes a basic gig work premise and elevates it to a higher state of consciousness – an exercise in surreal survivalism, this dice-rolling adventure uses the familiar trappings of a popular nightclub. It’s a one-person ride that captures the essence of what I described as a “slacker hustle” mentality in my September review; since then I haven’t stopped thinking about how his incredible writing exemplifies the best and the worst from moment to moment work.

Betrayal in the Club Low Trailer.

In Club Low, the world is my oyster. It’s a microcosm of functioning human behavior, peeling off the layers of how people make extra money when no one is looking, or how they feel about their bosses and employees. My role is pretty simple – I give in-game tips by handing out pizzas and using different toppings to maximize my earnings. But watching others at work is far more interesting, and like Cosmo D’s other games, there’s a lot to be said about performance and perception, especially in an environment riddled with club-kid tribalism, hipster capital, the inscrutable hierarchy of popularity and of course is connected. the act of making money. The game’s physics and music checks, dancefloor scenarios, and visceral interactions with laser doors constantly remind me of my body – a vehicle for pizza, sure, but also a surprisingly resilient agent for change and revolution. I suffer from bouts of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and awkwardness. I’m an inscrutable pizza guy tied to chance, unsure of how the night will end but confident I can get away with whatever happens.

Betrayal shines brightest when I’m feeling caught between a sane, rational decision and a delicious sense of recklessness. What if I lied and demanded the fancy jeweled coat from the cloakroom maid because it made me feel good? What if I was such a bad dancer that I could physically upset people? What if I never had to think any longer for the next 30 seconds? It’s a luxurious escape from a reality ruled by economic speculation and prediction. Like so many of us, my entire existence right now revolves around work and worrying about the future. But at Club Low there is only the gift, and it is a gift.

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Fry Electronics Team

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