At some point, hours into Vanilla Hills on the iOS release of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, I was struggling with the profitability of a certain balloon proprietor trying to suss out why none of my park patrons could be bothered to purchase any of his wares. I mean, in a park where people routinely vomit on the sidewalks, throw garbage next to trash cans, and break benches for fun, surely these simple-minded mongoloids would be attracted to the bright colors and seemingly incomprehensible nature of a floating piece of nylon like moths to a flame but, despite the prime location and lowered prices, they flocked past the establishment like cattle. It was then that I turned to the last tool available to me: the data section of the stall's settings screen. Here, I could see statistics on the guests who had visited the store as well as read their thoughts concerning the store or its products.
Well, maybe there are customer feedback surveys and that's why I have an aggregator of people's thoughts...except that at any time, I can select a random peep or employee and read a stream of consciousness live-blog of their thoughts concerning my park. In this day and age, seeing a collection of people's thoughts and opinions can only mean one thing: Roller Coaster Tycoon is in cahoots with big data.
God only knows where this information is coming from. Facebook, Twitter, Google, singing bear animatronics with depth-sensing cameras and parabolic microphones, mechanical bird drones with biometric sensors, all I know is that at any given time your thoughts on Vanilla Hills are being tagged, categorized, and fed into neat tables and spreadsheets so that I can better sell you a hot dog or convince you to buy a ticket to Vyperspace (copyright pending space snake roller coaster).
Sure, using this data to market you processed meat products is innocent enough, but where does it end? How long until a passing thought about how little ice you get in your drink at Soda Popinsky (copyright infringing beverage stall) gets a top hat wearing panda bear to stage your suicide? Are we headed towards a future where "I want to go on something more exciting than Butterfly in the Sky (copyright infringing chair swing ride)" could be the last thing you ever think? Its time we stand up and hold Roller Coaster Tycoon accountable for its blatant support of big data. Its time we put our foot down before its too late and the Elephant costume adorned hitmen are at your door.