I wish that the world Workemon created was a hopeless, dystopian future. However, it is merely an exaggerated and fatansised version of ours, which makes it charming, funny but also absolutely relatable. Plastic Memories taught me the greatest of pains are hidden within humourous dialogue and drowning laughter; and as I laughed myself to tears while playing Workemon, my heart ached with a sharp pain that reminded of the desolate state our world is in now. As the ninth daughter of the richest man in this universe, you travel in search to capture Workemons with fake and enticing contract, then exploit their labour for your capitalistic ends of taking over the companies of your elder siblings, buy endless luxury items, and visit the host clubs in search of a perfect ‘secretary’ who will assist in your daily operations from the office to the bedroom.
The first Workemon you encounter is, well, me, the Bachelormon, whom, according to the dex, ‘Got a Bachelor’s degree with a good GPA but couldn’t find a job’ – and the jab for me was made even more literal because the randomly generated name of my Bachelormon turned out to be ‘Allen’. You meet Marriage-Poormons and Child-Poormons who became broke due to marriage and child-rearing respectively and needed jobs. There is Zombiemon who worked himself into a trance so he never takes time off work, ever, not even on weekends – and making use of his mental illness generates so much cash for you. Then there are spins on elemental typings, with NoHeatmon being a human trapped in a block of ice because they forgot to keep the blanket on during winter and they are too poor to afford heaters; Alcohol-Squirtlemon who drank so much during college they can now fire (puke) alcohol out of their mouth; and Passionmon who has no job, no money, and only passion, who is literally on fire.
Literally me, 3 months ago.
Underneath all that Workemon is also a rich kid CEO simulator that denounces socialism, or at least the capability of the individual rich person at saving the poor. Your ‘hard-earned’ cash can be spent in multiple ways. First, to buy luxury items including private airplanes for you to fly to faraway slums to find the rarest and cheapest of Workemons – using money to better exploit the poorest of the poor to make even more profits. And since you are so rich, why stick to the same plane? Your character gets tired of these items in about 2-3 in game months and you must replace those luxury item, including that awesome looking golden airplane that costs as much as the yearly salary of 10 of my Workemons, because the rich little spoiled brat will not sit on the same plane for the 34th time. It just loses its charm by that time. Then go back to the office, spend some energy to scream at your Workemons so that they make more money. Watching my 18-years-old female CEO tell the 40-yearold-Virginmon about how things were ‘Back in my days’ and chanting things like ‘Young people nowadays’ to him is nonsensical, yet realistic as it shows how ridiculous class difference flips social status and logic upside down.
Your second option is to visit the local host club quite literally titled ‘Take My Money’, alluding to real world prostitution and other softcore versions of it where rich people spend their energy and money on. When affection hits 100%, they will ‘fall in love’ with you after you gift them their favourite luxury item, which is sometimes a car or that golden private jet mentioned earlier, and will join your company as one of your interchangeable secretaries because they know there is more where the hundreds of thousands you spent on them came from. Which is the case in all dating sims if your think about it, since affection is mostly raised by giving people items, and Ann will marry me and bear me children when she sits down and think about how much money I am making from the other spa-boiled eggs I am not giving her.
Current husbando. Up to 10 more available.
And the game does not end there. After saving up 6 million dollars you can repair the Workemon Centre ran by Team Welfare, which somehow vaguely provides welfare to Workemons by having them live on hard-earned money made via exploiting other workers. This is where the game goes full meta – Workemons that are treated well in your company will request to resign, and instead sit inside the Centre to campaign for Workemon welfare. Each of them will require a donation of 3 million, on top of an initial 6 million needed to fully repair the Workemon Centre, and the last I counted there were 50 campaign tables on that screen. I tried my hand at this whole welfare business, and I gave up and spent all my money on the host club and more luxury items instead. Workemon is a mockery of socialistic ideals, where people demand for welfare that comes from taxes that in turn are generated from capitalistic exploitation anyway. Compared to the guys slaving away in my company, Workemons that have the time, effort and capability to protest for social welfare are so much better off; yet they pretend to be the greatest victims of capitalism upon graduating from the lowest rung of class oppression.
Taking from the hardworking to feed the freeloading, what a great idea Socialism is.
Socialism is a middle-class scheme disguised as a project for equality in hope of shifting exploitation from them to people they do not care for and probably have not heard about. And upon putting it down, the game continues to bother me because of that helplessness that lingers, that reminds that our world is facing the same problem too. Workemon is a timely reminder that taking from the rich to balance the wealth of the poor is a hopeless and misguided effort being undertaken by delusional leftist leaders who seriously need to identify who is it that really need salvation, and think of better ways to resolve class stratification and disadvantages.