Email, like leaf blowers and Sean Penn, is one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time but eventually became a never-ending plague of irritation. How many emails do you receive each day? Dozens? And how many of them are actually useful, especially when they come from within your own company and they’re filled with pointless corpo-speak?
I’d say roughly zero, but let’s sharpen our pencils and circle back on that figure. Hope this helps. Thanks much!
Mondays: A Sisyphean Typing Game (opens in new tab) is a free-to-play typing sim that has you copy randomly generated intercompany emails packed with meaningless buzzwords. To demonstrate the fruitlessness of your tasks, each letter you type pushes a massive boulder a tiny fraction up a hill that only grows steeper. Get a letter wrong and there’s no backspace—you immediately roll back down the hill with your boulder and have to start again. Rise and grind.
Sisyphus, to refresh your memory, was a king in Greek mythology who was so darn clever he kept talking his way out of death. Zeus and Hades eventually got so pissed off with the smartass king they sentenced him to eternal torment by forcing him to roll a massive boulder up a hill, and as soon as he got the boulder near the top it would roll all the way back down. This is that, but in a free typing game.
Unlike Sisyphus, you can have a little fun with your boulder. As you type horrific phrases like “Integrally, we’re agile and disruptive” and “Key takeaways include boosting the company DNA” and “There’s a massive yield predicted if we upskill our contracted staff” you earn money. That money can be spent customizing your boulder with hats, eyes, sunglasses, shoes, and other cosmetics, which are shoved in your face after each email as a series of pop-up windows. Some of these cute cosmetics even have an effect, like a pair of Groucho Marx glasses that add a laugh track each time you screw up and roll back down the hill.
Money can also be spent in the most corporate way of all: on more work. Unlock longer emails and you’ll get you closer and closer to the top of that damn hill before you are sent tumbling all the way back to the bottom to buy more stuff for your boulder.
It’s a fun, frustrating, and weirdly compelling game. I kept playing to unlock more goofy cosmetics from my boulder and access new emails just to see how awful the buzzwords could get. “This internship can be an incredible opportunity if you grab the bull by the horns. You can shadow the other departments and attend leadership meetings” was a particularly galling one. And there’s something about getting so close to the top of a hill that I know I can never reach that makes me want to keep trying to reach it. I guess that’s corporate work in a nutshell.
You can download Mondays: A Sisyphean Typing Game or play it right in your browser here (opens in new tab).