Smart Theory is an entrant in the 2021 Interactive Fiction Competition. All of the entries can be browsed and experienced here.
In Smart Theory, you’re a college student who is woken up one morning by Paul “Big” Brother, who is excited to have the chance to teach you about Smart Theory, the new academic theory that is sweeping the campus. Whether you go willingly or not, you will eventually end up at the assembly and you will discover what Smart Theory is all about. (Personally, it’s more enjoyable and morally more rewarding to go unwillingly.)
Originated by a Texas fertilizer salesman who was trying to win a bet, Smart Theory may seem like a bunch of movie quotes but it’s actually the new way that you are going to be expected to view the world. And while some of it may sound dumb, it can’t actually be dumb because then it wouldn’t be a smart theory! Get it?
Designed with the Twine operating system, this is less of a game than a satirical short story about the current culture of conformity on campus. The more Smart Theory is explained, the more obvious it becomes that no one is willing to point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. The game has something important to say about being weary of any ideology that doesn’t allow its followers to question it. To enjoy this game, it probably helps if you already agree with the point that it’s making but that doesn’t make that point any less relevant.