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A Game About Deciding What Is (And Is Not) Soup

Illustration for article titled A Game About Deciding What Is (And Is Not) Soup

What makes soup qualify as soup? Must it be liquid? What if it’s frozen? Need it be edible, or can it contain rocks or batteries? Those are the kinds of heady philosophical questions posed by Something Something Soup Something.

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Something Something Soup Something is a free browser game made by Italian philosopher and game designer Stefano Gualeni and his team at the Institute of Digital Games. It takes place in a future where humans have mastered the science of teleportation. Instead of using it to eliminate scarcity or instantly transport Martin Shkreli to a distant black hole, they’ve taken to teleporting goods produced by underpaid aliens from distant planets. Goods like soup.

Problem is, aliens don’t have the best grip on how human digestive systems work, and the concept of “soup” isn’t really a thing in their society. You play as a certified human Soup Technician, and it’s up to you to figure out which dishes they send over do and do not constitute soup. Here are a some examples from my playthrough.

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 Obviously not soup.
Obviously not soup.
 Still not soup!
Still not soup!
 Getting closer, uh, kinda.
Getting closer, uh, kinda.
 This is soup! I’m not sure if it’s good soup, but it still counts.
This is soup! I’m not sure if it’s good soup, but it still counts.
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 I’ll go back and forth on whether or not this one is technically soup until the day I die.
I’ll go back and forth on whether or not this one is technically soup until the day I die.

Something Something Soup Something only lasts five to ten minutes. When you finish, the game analyzes your decisions, peers into your heart of hearts, and explains what you believe soup to be. Here is my Unified Theory Of Soup according to the soup game:

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Illustration for article titled A Game About Deciding What Is (And Is Not) Soup

You might not agree with me. The game’s developers say that’s the point. “Soup Soup Something Soup is designed to reveal, through its gameplay, that even a familiar, ordinary concept like ‘soup’ is vague, shifting, and impossible to define exhaustively,” they wrote on the game’s website.

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That’s all well and good, but I know I’m right about what soup is. If you disagree, you’re wrong. Fight me.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

thewiredknight

As a soup lover (seriously I could live off the stuff and eat nothing else) I would eat all of these.

Also I have since printed this article, placed it in a slurpee cup and filled it with hot water. I call it “A game about deciding what is and is not soup soup”