Happy Black Friday: The Top 5 Games Set in Malls

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5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop

To be honest, I’ve never played Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

In fact, it’s safe to assume many people never played Paul Blart: Mall Cop.*

In fact aside from this YouTube video, there appears to be little evidence that Paul Blart: Mall Cop ever existed.

But this video more than captures the spirit of what appears to have been one of the most defiant, artistically singular games of all time. You play as the titular security guard (pun intended), protecting the local mall from criminal activity. At first glance, the game looks lacklustre. You drive a segway through the mall, chasing after and arresting thieves. The slow speed and lag are offsetting at first, until you come to grasp the game’s true intent. Initially, it seems odd that the thieves in the mall appear to outnumber the shoppers. But if you dig a little deeper, and regard the thieves as metaphors for retail establishments, the game can be read as a scathing critique of an individual’s impotence in the face of consumer culture. The game then takes it a step further, plastering the mall in posters for Paul Blart: Mall Cop (the movie), in a defiant and brilliant approach at meta-gaming. This is no mere promotional tie in.

This is video game entertainment, seen through the lens of a true auteur.


Or it’s a steaming pile of day-old food court bacon cheddar curly fries.


You decide.

*In fairness, I’m ignoring it’s YouTube desciption, which states the game is “the most popular online downloaded game”