As per most people’s assumptions, Amazon’s completely destroying brick and mortar retail and once-bustling malls across the country are being replaced by potential locations for really awesome horror movies.
Like most other aging millennials, I’ve got fond memories of loading the pockets of my JNCO shorts and Backstreet Boys hoodie full of 99 cent vodka nips, rolling into my local suburban shopping complex, and loitering for hours.
But these were not essential experiences; I don’t think upcoming generations are missing out if they never have the chance to vomit in The Gap. The extinction of shopping malls means the loss of loads upon loads of customer service jobs, but surely, those people can all get new jobs in Amazon warehouses! Once again, the free market fixes everything…right?! ….right?
Meanwhile, Bloomberg put together a full-blown video game to demonstrate the soul-annihilating futility of shopping mall ownership in 2018. American Mall puts the player in charge of a mall that’s on its last legs, and provides limited time and resources to turn the situation around.
From what I’ve gathered after a few playthoughs, the only way to keep from running out of morale (called “happiness”) is to keep giving stores massive cuts in their rent so your mall doesn’t turn into a depressing cluster of empty storefronts. In theory, you can bring in other businesses to replace the failing ones, but new additions quickly wind up asking for lower rents and you’re right back where you started.
There’s also a handful of wheeler-dealer stunts and strategies you can try; installing free wi-fi, cutting heating costs, schmoozing with the mayor, for a few examples. Although those don’t appear to help much. You go out of business anyway. But before that, you get to battle rats, clean up litter, and kick menacing “CyberPunks” off the premises. Not to mention amazing side-quests like, Try To Pierce This Girls Ear While She Swings Her Fucking Head Around Like A Lunatic:
If anyone figures out how to win American Mall, that person should first of all screengrab that shit or else no one will believe them. After that, they need to stop playing video games and go focus on solving major real world problems, ‘cos they apparently have a knack for that sort of thing.