This post was originally published by Eater.
By Chris Fuhrmeister
In an effort to raise awareness about the Donald Trump administration’s proposed deregulation of America’s pork industry, the Food Integrity Campaign has released an online game called Bacon Defender. It’s a doozy. The game mashes up graphics and music straight out of the 1980s, Trump quotes, falling poop emoji, and Space Invaders-style play. The result is an intense experience that will leave users in need of some meditation or a stiff drink after a few minutes of action.
That’s the point. The United States Department of Agriculture’s proposed rules would put pork slaughter houses under diminished scrutiny from government investigators and encourage faster production lines. The USDA says this is a way to “modernize” the industry, deploying an argument that has been used for other forms of deregulation. Detractors, such as FIC, a program that works under the not-for-profit Government Accountability Project, believe workers will face greater danger on the job and pork products will more frequently be contaminated with such unsavory things as feces, toenails, and hair.
“Even a novice Bacon Defender player quickly learns that at higher speeds feces can contaminate your food more easily,” reads a blog post announcing the game.
The earthbound poops do indeed come at a rapid pace, and they get stronger as the game goes on. Then come the corporate lawyers, which are “a tongue in cheek reminder that the rule is about corporate influence and privatization, not actually promoting public health,” per the FIC. All of these things are launching out of a polluting factory that bears Trump’s likeness and descending upon a picnic table bearing bacon, ham, sausages, and pork chops. Our heroic “defender” takes the form of a flying hot dog that shoots mustard. Firepower can be increased by collecting bonuses that fall among the baddies: mustard packets, pickles, and Rosie O’Donnell. The former two representing Trump’s love of fast food, the latter one of his greatest foes.
The gameplay is already hectic, but then Trump’s voice comes out of nowhere to add a little more edge. “Our country is in serious trouble!” “I don’t care!” “China!” “Wrong!” “Bing, bong, bing, bong!” The quotes are reminiscent of Trumplings, the website, set up in January 2016, that imprinted Trump’s face on digital dumplings and played some of his more famous soundbites. That project was a joke — which was exactly what its creator thought of the Republican’s campaign. Playing the part of a 21st-century Upton Sinclair, the FIC wants to let people know hazardous slaughterhouses with little oversight are a real possibility.