Published: 22nd September 2020
Meet Maxmess, the Redditor who created the viral PM CARES fund game
The game is a satirical rip off of Google Chrome's T-Rex Dinosaur game. The game takes a dig at the PM CARES Fund
The game is a satirical rip off of chrome's popular T-Rex game. Except for in pmcares.fund, the dinosaur is replaced by Narendra Modi. However, its developer who goes by his Reddit username Maxmess wants to remain anonymous. "It's a bit weird and sad to feel scared for making such a silly thing — but this is the country we live in," says the 28-year-old, with whom we caught up over email.
It is quite unlikely for internet users in India to not have heard of the PM Cares game. While the game's URL pmcares.fund leads you to a page that reads 'PM CARES fund details could not be displayed because the Government won't allow you to see it', it also comes with a game. Instead of the cactus and flying demons, Modi's obstacles include COVID, joblessness, media and the Supreme Court. But hitting an obstacle doesn't stop the game for you, instead, you are excused. For instance, if you hit the COVID icon, it says 'Game not over. COVID cases up. No problem. Please continue.' Similarly, the joblessness icon reads 'economy down, jobs down, all good'. Needless to say, the game was an instant hit.
Someone who likes to buy weird and quirky domain name hacks for side projects, Maxmess says that he was surprised when he saw that the domain was available. "I immediately purchased it. At that time, I did not know if I was going to do anything with it," he says. The initial idea, he says was to display a message that reads 'Page not available' to take a dig on the government, which said that the PM CARES fund is not a public authority. "Then I thought it would be even more fun and visually engaging to build a PM-themed chrome dino game along with the page. I built the obstacles and the story-line as I went along," he says.
Maxmess is overwhelmed by the game's virality. In fact, it was quite unusual for him. "Usually posting about side projects on the internet is like shouting in the void. I am happy that so many people played the game and most people (so far) have been able to see the humour in it," he says.
At the same time, there was not a lot of backlashes too, except someone sent an FIR threat to him on Reddit. "Maybe, it hasn't reached those parts of the internet yet where this kind of humour is not understood. I hope they can see it for what it is and relax a bit," he signs off.