DescriptionCutthroat Capitalism: The Game is an interactive simulation of the Somali pirate business model, a practice that has been running rampant since the nineties, where pirates board ships near the African coast and hold the crew hostage until a ransom has been paid. In July the web magazine Wired ran an article about the business model of the pirates and afterwards made a game out of it.
Shown from a top-down view, a pirate ship is navigated to the exit of the Gulf of Aden, where different kinds of ships pass by, such as yachts, container ships, fishing boats, each with a different colour. The ship needs to be navigated to intercept one of them. Based on the amount of pirates and other factors, the boarding fails or succeeds. When they take over a ship, the player is taken to a negotiation screen. A sum of money can be demanded and the counteroffer is shown on the right. While negotiating, a number of tactics can be applied, such as raising of lowering the money, the handling of the hostages and the tone when calling the negotiators. To the right, the number of hostages and their health is shown, along with the trust level of the negotiators. When happy with the offer, the deal is settled and profits come in. When doing well, additional pirates sometimes join the ship, but they can also leave when they are unhappy about the negotiation process.
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Related Web Sites
- An Economic Analysis of the Somali Pirate Business Model (the Wired article the game is based on (13th July 2009))
- Cutthroat Capitalism: The Game (Play the game in a browser.)