When I found out that Grover Norquist's anti-tax advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform, had released a video game about working in a tattoo parlor, which can be found online here, I got really excited. Perhaps I'd finally be able to give Norquist the Don't Tread on Me tat I've long thought would go so well with his signature beard and glasses. But my hopes were quickly dashed. Turns out there isn't any tattooing to be done in the game, which in truth, is hardly a game at all. Instead, it's a series of comic stills and scripted choices that take you through the process of unionization under card check.
But so what if it's not Grand Theft Auto IV? It's still fun, kind of, at least if you like cheesy Flash-animated stereotypes spouting absurdisms, Z-movie dialog, and out-of-date slang. Over the course of the game, you'll meet union thugs who promise voice-over gigs on the Simpsons, a tie-die wearing longhair who specializes in tattoos depicting "peace signs, rainbows, and other unoriginal and conformist hippie symbols," and a Fonzie-like neogreaser in a black leather jacket who actually uses the phrase "pretty sketch" to describe some union thugs lingering in a parking lot. The best part, however, is that if you play long enough, you can get high! But then those tricky union bullies will take advantage of you.
You can't win! Of course, that's exactly the point: With card check, you're bound to lose. Very clever, Mr. Norquist. Very clever indeed. But I'm still disappointed that the game won't let me give anyone tattoos. Pretty sketch, I think.