When my Discord server first added Smilebot, everything seemed normal. It was a little widget that spewed emojis and told you what your mood was. When I returned to my Discord after a plane flight, competing corporate factions in our sever were at war with each other in a competition to craft materials and please faceless overlords.

Smilebot is the brain-child of Vancouver-based designer James Lantz and is marketed as an “antidepressant for your Discord community.” On the surface, it’s a silly bot where you can collect smiles and gamble with them. Ask and it might guess your mood or make a little dab emoji. It’s actually a game in disguise. If you’re into bizarre, ARG-esque competitions then I suggest tossing it into your Discord and keeping away from spoilers. Otherwise, read on.

Underneath Smilebot’s happy surface is a warren of micro-games and unceasing toil. Its presence in my server started simple and has only grown more complex, sprawling out like Frog Fractions into a competition that’s dominated my Discord. (It makes sense; James Lantz is the son of Frank Lantz, the creator of the absurd clicker game Universal Paperclips.)

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I started playing Smilebot by collecting some free smiles and gambling them in our chat. After a handful of gambles, I was able to purchase upgrades and perks including “Benefits Packages” and “Mindboosters” that automatically produced smiles for me. Where I had been wasting time idly gambling smiles, I eventually started generating millions per minute. These could be spent on more and more perks, including taco parties that filled my DMs with taco emojis and a backdoor into the bot’s inner workings. Before I really understood what was happening I was assigned to the InnoLabs division of a nameless company—some friends were on my team, others were assigned to SecOps—and tasked with various mission, such as getting my friends to input random strings of numbers into chat. Eventually, I was digging through fake emails and playing a text adventure in my DMs.

That text adventure was a piece of strange social engineering. None of the actions I could perform made any progress. It turns out that I could only progress in the game if my friends input special chat commands into our Discord’s chat. For a while, I was stuck in a strange limbo, unable to move further into Smilebot’s labyrinthine plot until I figured out that I needed to manipulate my friends (some of whom had already endured this doomed adventure game) into typing the commands needed to break me out of the game.

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Instead of returning to my smile harvesting, I was thrust into a new game where I would craft emojis and use them to write lines of code. I also needed to eat or drink in the game or else I would die and get a game over. This is where I’ve left off: replaying this numbing game, crafting more and more items, and trying to write more code so that my InnoLabs pals and I can overthrow SecOps’ lead. Why? I don’t know. Will this ever end? I don’t know. I might spend forever replaying a chatbot game for higher and higher scores in the hope that something, anything might happen.

Smilebot isn’t a happy little bot for your Discord community. It’s a sick social experiment that you drop on an ignorant population. Eventually, they will be gambling smiles and crafting useless emojis in a terrifying forever war. It’s a mixture of text game and ARG that is sure to turn any Discord upside down.