In simpler times, the Chrome dinosaur game was where the party was. Similar to the intensely addictive Temple Run and Subway Surfer, it saw an infinitely long track of a lonely T-Rex crossing hurdles and jumping over cacti. But now, we have bigger problems to worry about than slow internet—such as how the funds of PM-CARES, the government's official COVID relief fund, are being used. And so, a Reddit user decided to take matters into their own hands and has made their unique version of the game, with some very Indian twists. After noticing the domain name pmcares.fund was available, this user decided to create a game to satire the grim reality. Unlike the usual where the pages are unable to load because of “errinternetdisconnected”, the pages here—on what one would assume is the official PM CARES fund data while clicking on the link—are unable to load because of “errhiddenby_government”.
What you are directed to, instead, is the game whose protagonist—a pixelated character representative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi—runs while crossing hurdles which come in the form of everyday problems like GDP, unemployment, rising coronavirus cases, and loss of democracy. The game is an infinite loop of the PM, controlled by the player, just endlessly running and never actually really dying. You hit the hurdle of a media house? No worries—the media does not have any questions for you and you're free to go. You accidentally hit the coronavirus, though? Yeah, there are rising cases but it really, truly is not a problem—please continue running. Because unlike mere mortals, he can bypass all checks and obstacles.
It is the little details in the game that make it so hilarious—like the lotus symbol of the ruling party that comes on the full moon, or the saffron jacket of the Prime Minister. But on a more serious note, the insistence of the government to not reveal data on the PM CARES fund is worrying. An audit report showed that the fund had received over Rs 3,000 crores in just five days—up till March 31. Data beyond that has not been made public, including data on how they spent it. While it looks like the government is out there playing with the lives of the people of the country, at least you can play with a pixelated representative. Follow Satviki on Instagram.