I Get This Call Everyday is not a fun game. I’m hesitant to even call it a game. It only lasts for about 10 minutes. Its premise is about answering a single, exceedingly painful phone call at a nameless call center. Its a cautionary tale about the fruitlessness of working in a call center day-to-day and the painful akwardness of trying to be the voice of constant positivity in the face of extreme reluctance. Seeing how this hit so close to home for me I might have gotten more out of that 10 minutes emotionally than many other storied games this year.
Not so long ago I also found myself working in a call center, taking about 100 calls per day from people I didn’t know at all, except for the data on the computer monitor. Each call required at least a moderate amount of identification from the caller because, hey, nobody wants some jerk calling in pretending to be you. Any call center employee knows there’s typically a slew of “security questions” intended to make sure the person over the phone is really them. They’re always jarring, but usually fairly quick depending on the situation. Yet there’s always that one guy who calls in who just doesn’t seem to “get it”. Billy, the game’s caller, is that guy.
Billy is for all intents and purposes the villain of I Get This Call Everyday. The goal of any call center is not necessarily to resolve the issue, but to get the caller to hang the fuck up already, with tact of course. As the call drags on it becomes exceedingly more obvious that this is the goal of the game as well. If we could really consider this a game (and if we’re being totally honest, its not really), that moment when Billy finally hangs up is like beating another boss in any game. The credits roll and you’re met with the choice for “Again?”. The horrible truth to this game is you don’t get that choice in a call center, the next call is already on, time to do it all over again.
The one thing that didn’t quite work for me would probably be Billy’s voice acting, at least on some parts. I knew during my call center job when I was being a bit irrational with my questions, but still had to ask them because of policy and I could always sense the displeasure in people’s voices. Billy sometimes sounds pretty displeased, but other times he’s a little too glad to answer the next qualifying question. The game’s ending felt a little bit forced as the build-up wasn’t really there, but I could tell where developer David S. Gallant was going with the script.
For what it does and sets out to do, I think I Get This Call Everyday succeeds. For anyone who’s had the privilege (?) of being a call center rep it will be all too familiar, for anyone else it will probably confirm their suspicion that call centers are life-sucking, awful places that don’t bring much reward. The constant fake sincerity, the constant forced nice guy persona and the constant threat of being fired are all very real parts of these jobs.
If you’ve just been offered that call center job down the road, $2 for this title might save you a huge amount of soul-draining agony. The game releases this Friday on David’s website.