mcdhoax.jpg Another GSW sister site, Serious Games Source, has news on what may be the video game-related hoax of the year - the appearance as the the UK-based International Serious Games conference of alleged McDonald’s representative Andrew Shimery-Wolf.

The executive, who was apparently from McDonald's Interactive, a hitherto unknown division of the fast food giant, lectured to a presumably confused audience on "McChange: Serious Games from Training to Corporate Social Responsibility", and apparently announced that it "is striking out on its own from parent company McDonald's." "We can no longer stand by while McDonald's corporate policies help lead the planet to ruin," said Andrew Shimery-Wolf, co-director of the former Interactive Division.

The full text of the speech and related press statement makes the amusement clear - "We began developing a simulation of the fast-food industry, for use by managers in developing market strategies." said Division CTO Sam Grossman. "When we added a climate simulation module, it showed those strategies helping lead to global calamity... Management doesn't seem to care, and we can't sit back and fiddle while Rome burns, so our team has decided to break away from McDonald's and do something about it."

Who's behind it? The SGS report notes: "As for the culprits, an update at serious games weblog Water Cooler Games indicates that an email response to a McDonald's Interactive press request came back as: 'Sent by: [email protected]', linking the stunt to the social activism group RTMark, which has previously "swapped the electronics of talking Barbie and GI Joe toys and then returned them to the store... and then issued a message as the 'Barbie Liberation Organization'", among other stunts." Oops, I bet the organizers of the event wish they'd vetted their applicants a bit better.