Goat Simulator is an existential minefield

2 min read


I’ve been intrigued by the rather silly Goat Simulator since the developers first showed off its insanity. According our review, it’s little more than a bit of silly fun; a broken physics simulator inspired by tony Hawk, with a goat in it. Only that’s completely wrong. It has a story. And depending on how susceptible you are to Spontaneous Exploding Cranium Syndrome (SECS!), it could well blow your mind.

Over on the game’s Steam page, one fan offered a theory that the game was little more than a hallucination. One of the game’s developers though, clarified that its narrative went far beyond that. The goat is stuck in purgatory; the waiting lobby between heaven and hell.

Essentially, Goat Simulator is Existentialist art.

“Your goat is in Purgatory,” says Coffee Stain’s Armin Ibrisagic

If you notice you’ll see that one of the tunnels has a sign saying "Himlen" and the other has a sign saying "Helvete". If you pull that through google translate you’ll see that "Himlen" means Heaven, and "Helvete" means hell. That is why there is both a Devil Goat and an Angel Goat in the game.

That is why the pentagram is closer to the sign saying "Helvete", even the demonstration (symbolizing the current chaos in the Ukraine) is on that end of the map. Goathenge is closer to Hell, symbolizing the backwards and old ways of humankind that need to be destroyed for progress to be made, while the Low Gravity Testing Facility and the Beacon is closer to "Himlen", symbolizing research, progress, and hope. The trap once you go to space shows that we must not rush things before we are ready.

You might also notice that, no matter what you do, you can never interact with humans. If you lick them or even touch them a little bit, they will instantly go limp. If there are any humans nearby, they will run away from you. When it comes to other humans, you are always the onlooker, always staring from a distance, never part of the group. Always alone.

Somebody’s having a bit of laugh right? According to Ibrisagic this is all just the beginning, and there’s a greater existentialist rabbit hole n the game, for those that wish to pursue it.

This is just the tip of the existential iceberg, those who seek shall find more. I’ll let you analyze the new map yourself that’s coming with patch 1.1.

Last Updated: May 9, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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