Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Experience the hell of working in an Amazon warehouse with this new online game

Photo: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

Speedy Amazon delivery comes with a price. The working conditions in Amazon’s shipping warehouses are notoriously draconian, with underpaid workers resorting to urinating in bottles for fear of being fired for taking a bathroom break. In order to better inform consumers about the plight of these employees, Australia’s ABC News has produced a new online game that turns this depressing capitalist nightmare into a charmingly pixelated point-and-click adventure.

Screenshot: The Amazon Race

The Amazon Race begins on your first day. The prompts walk you through basic training, where you learn how to navigate the warehouse and retrieve selected items within a specific timeframe. Soon, however, you’ll notice that your allotted time for each order is getting shorter, making it nearly impossible to stay on target. You’ll also be faced with difficult decisions, like whether or not you should help your fellow workers or stop to drink some water, knowing each delay will affect your overall pick rate. Let your pick rate get too low and, wah wah, you could find your next shift being cancelled.

An informative prompts explains that the gameplay is based on the experiences of eight current and former employees of the Melbourne warehouse. In response, an Amazon spokesperson told Mashable that ABC was “intentionally sensational in its reporting and is demeaning to the hard working dedicated people who work at Amazon fulfillment centers.” Numerous reports paint a different picture, but we’ll let the game speak for itself.

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About the author

Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.