The World the Children Made: A Game Based on Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”

In the comments section, developer James Earl Cox III jokes that The World the Children Made is the first 1950s housewife simulator, a description that is both accurate and completely off-base. True, the vast majority of gameplay revolves around selecting commands from a terminal that run and manage the household and provide childcare automatically…but devout Ray Bradbury fans might recognize the title.

The game is based on The Veldt, and though it seems inconceivable to me that people might not have read the short story, out of deference to spoilers I won’t discuss the plotline too much. Just know that, in true Ray Bradbury form, The Veldt deftly mixes science fiction with horror.

Players might find the daily tasks dull or repetitive, with the vast majority of the story reserved for the nightly discussions with the husband, but there’s a reason for this. The family slowly grows more isolated from each other and dependent on the machine–and, in 2015, as criticisms and op-eds flood the Internet with people wondering if technology brings people together or drives them apart, the game feels weirdly and uncomfortably relevant. Of course, if you think we’re closer than ever due to the miracles of technology, you might be kind of irked at the doomsday scenario that unfolds, but that’s really the only reason anyone would not enjoy this interactive and retro-neon take on The Veldt.

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