There is a simple joy to being able to honk whenever you please and cause chaos without any consequences. By now it’s likely that you’ve heard of “Untitled Goose Game”, an indie game released recently, which has spawned numerous popular memes. The game itself is fairly simple, you play as a ‘horrible goose’, traverse a village, and cause a ruckus. There is a button that allows players to honk on command which many users see as an enticing feature. It was released only a month ago, but many who have played this stealth puzzle game seem to have enjoyed it. For those who don’t want to play it themselves, there are a plethora of YouTubers who have uploaded videos of their own gameplay. The additional element of jokes and commentary brings another level of entertainment to this already fun game.
While the game itself is fairly popular, the memes about this horrible goose are even more prominent in popular culture. Some are screenshots from the game, with vaguely threatening captions, like “peace was never an option”, or variations on the word “honk” to add humor (ie: hjönk). Some memes are even remakes of old memes with the addition of the goose to bring new life to an older meme format. All of these memes gained popularity quickly, causing knowledge of the game to spread. As this was being written, a multitude of “Untitled Goose Game” memes were shared with me.
After talking with fellow Orediggers, the response was overwhelmingly positive. While many haven’t played it themselves, they have heard about it, seen the memes, or watched YouTubers play it. There’s something amusing to college students about forgetting about the real world to become a horrible goose, whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc on a town filled with innocent people. While the game is mostly a puzzle-based game, it comes without any lore, making it easy to play, and very relaxing when you need a break. A fellow Oredigger, Sara, agrees: “it helped me chill out when school work was stressing me”, and it, “brings me joy to see the endless memes”. When memes about this terrible goose are shared, they make everyone smile. It’s simple, silly fun.
The “Untitled Goose Game” appeals to younger generations, likely because of the ability to be a character that causes minor mayhem. One of the main allures of the game is that you can act like a chaotic trickster without having any real-life consequences. Many people have a lot of structure built into their lives, rules they must follow, deadlines they have to meet. Here at Mines, school might be stressful and overwhelming, but getting to take a moment and imagine that you are a chaotic neutral goose, with no responsibilities or stresses, is freeing. It provides a break in our lives that are quite busy and stressful with something exactly the opposite: the life of a goose that can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants. The simplicity of the game, not only in objectives but in animation, result in a well-deserved mental break. After all, who doesn’t want to cause a little ruckus now and then?