Cart Life's Disempowerment Fantasy

Cart Life is not like other videogames in many ways, but its focus on disempowerment is the feature that most strongly sets it apart. In Richard Hofmeier's simulation/adventure, players are asked to embody one of three entrepreneurs hoping to make a living by opening and operating a successful food or newspaper cart. As in real life, starting a new business in Cart Life isn't easy. None of the selectable main characters has much money saved up and all of them have to deal with various personal problems alongside the various challenges inherent to their careers. For Melanie, this means balancing a burgeoning coffee stand with the emotional turmoil of a recent divorce and the practicalities of trying to support an eleven-year-old daughter.

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