Protect a Bullied Student in this Game Where You Are a School Principal

"No Pineapple Left Behind," soon to be released, is designed to be a political critique of the US school system.

Jun 26 2015, 5:26pm

Male student David Jefferson is wearing makeup to school as an act of nonbinary gender expression. You, the school principal, have to keep him from being bullied by his peers. You can either implement a costly, time-consuming anti-bullying program, or turn David into a pineapple, making his gender nonconformity a nonissue.

Developer Seth Alter's game, No Pineapple Left Behind, is designed to satirize the disastrous state of the United States public education system. In a new trailer from the game, Alter features one of the unique problem-solving scenarios that can arise in the real world: dealing with a student who is more complicated than a pineapple.

Just like the No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law in 2002 and is still causing controversy today, the object of Alter's game is to keep test scores high and get more funding for your charter school. In the game, most of your students have been turned into pineapples, and it turns out pineapples are very good test-takers. Your goal as the school principal is to keep your fruit students from turning back into children, whose complicated AI and varying motivations make them more difficult to teach.

Alter's fictional Rutherford B. Hayes charter school is a bummer, but it's based on his own real experiences as an educator. When he spoke with Motherboard's Emanuel Maiberg in April, he cited school administration as the reason he couldn't stand to remain a teacher. In case his view of administrators under NCLB is unclear, he told Maiberg the game's "closest cousin" is a game called Prison Architect.

Alter's game is still in closed alpha, but a free alpha version is coming soon, along with a full version on Steam.