A popular cartoonist on Instagram has developed an online game to capture the reality of India's farmers' protests. Vinu Joseph's Farmers' Protest Game is based on the dialogue with the farmers that was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi—one that hasn't taken place yet.
For over two months, thousands of farmers have been protesting outside Delhi borders demanding a repeal of the farm laws passed in Parliament last year. On 31 January, PM Modi had said that the government was ready for a dialogue with the protestors. Yet, around the same time, Delhi Police put up barricades, dug in iron nails on the roads leading into the city, deployed armed guards, and lathi-charged at the protestors.
Joseph's game responds to this situation, especially to Modi's promise that his government was only a phone call away. The game begins on a simple premise, that the "PM is just a phone call away but we can't reach him". It then leads to the following options—"Try: Calling it an internal matter" or "Calling it an international conspiracy". When that doesn’t work—and it doesn’t—you start playing.
The gameplay seems to take a cue from the Chrome Dinosaur Game (a popular game that pops up in Google's Chrome browser when it goes offline). Only, the T-Rex protagonist is replaced by a farmer on a tractor, and its obstacle course consists of iron nails, border fences, police barricades, armed soldiers, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), propagandists, and a flying angel called "Riri", presumably a dig at pop star Rihanna, who recently pledged to stand with the farmers.
To dodge an obstacle, the player has to jump over it with using the space-bar. If you hit an obstacle, you respawn. The longer you last, the harder it gets. And if the game is faithful to the original, the farmers would only reach the PM after a playtime of 17 million years.
Joseph released the game on Wednesday afternoon on his Instagram channel vinu.one. He is yet to respond to Mint's request for a comment. The Udaipur-based Joseph is best known for his irreverent takes on current affairs.
The game is freely available and can be played at https://game.vinu.one/. Have a good dialogue.