The Speed of Thinking is a game about global systems so complex that they feel out of control. If Tetris is about the innate joy of putting objects in order, this game oscillates between the bliss and abyss of automation.
Game play is simple: the player controls a cargo ship to catch containers on its deck. More like homemade kids toys than rugged steel boxes, the cubes collect in dense, jenga-like structures that shift in hue. The constant color change adds a childlike wonder as you build the tallest structure.
If the poppy colors and meditative low-stakes play are the bliss, the abyss arrives when the player realizes that the game is never-ending until the game play crashes. During game play, data from The Observatory of Economic Complexity from the MIT Media Lab scrolls on the side, listing products based on past patterns of trade.
Begun in Hamburg, the location of last G20 summit, shortly after IBM-Maersk’s experiments with blockchain and Trump’s withdraw from the near-global climate agreement, the game is a snapshot of today’s mega-meta systems and their uncanny acceptance of unpredictable human impact.