Welcome to MidWestworld, a theme park unlike any other where all your wildest dreams can come true. Through exacting terraforming, we’ve replicated the exotic universe of the Midwest, from the plains of Indiana to the plains of Ohio to the plains of Michigan.
In minutes, this used Ford Focus hatchback will drop you off at the bustling center of MidWestworld: a frontage road between the highway and a Michael’s. I suggest you begin exploring the nearby businesses, all designed with painstaking attention to authenticity. Savor a Reggae Sunsplash Margarita at the Chili’s. Peruse the wares at the shopping mall anchored by a derelict JC Penney. Feast upon myriad savory delights at that one Chinese buffet place next to the GameStop.
As you explore, you’ll encounter the hosts of MidWestworld, artificially intelligent humanoids that seem as real as you or I. Engage with them, learn their stories, and you’ll be rewarded with invitations to their man caves, to their indoor waterparks, and perhaps even their timeshares in Northern Wisconsin where they might let you use their snowmobile.
MidWestworld may seem like a paradise with its abundant parking, reasonably priced in-state tuition, and plentiful Jack Daniels-glazed appeteasers. But don’t be fooled. As you journey outward, the storylines will become darker and the experiences more intense. The traffic will turn from light to medium-frustrating. You’ll occasionally have to park on the street. And the hosts will become increasingly polite, pushing you to madness as you try to understand their true intentions. Do they really not care that you’re five minutes late? Is it really no trouble to feed your cat while you’re gone? Are they really okay with splitting the check fifty-fifty even though you ordered a mixed drink and they barely touched the appetizer because they didn’t know that speck was meat and the texture was just weird to them but honestly it’s fine it’s your birthday celebration and it’s just fun to go out to a restaurant even if the tables are a little close together and the menu wasn’t clear that the entrees were all small plates.
What you do in MidWestworld is up to you, and who you want to become. You can wear these relaxed fit Wrangler jeans and become a bounty hunter, scouring nearby Krogers for manager’s special deals on those soft cookies with the cupcake icing. You can wear this Mickey Mouse tie, set up a modestly-profitable RE/MAX franchise, and achieve immortality with your name on a brick in the lobby of the new community arts center. Or you can wear this activewear from Kohl’s and get really into Zumba for a week and a half. And should you have more… carnal desires, don’t worry, you can fully indulge them by having quiet, transactional, and consensual sex with the Zumba instructor in her duplex by the outer belt.
Now, I know what you want to ask me. Am I human? Is the rosacea on my cheeks real or the creation of an algorithm? Were these pleated-front Dockers purchased from a Super Target or spun from a nutrient bath? And is the stain on them actually from a Wendy’s Big Bacon Classic or is it, in fact, the product of man’s hubristic obsession not just to touch the face of God but to fully become Him?
Perhaps, if you can’t tell, it doesn’t matter. And we should just relax in the backseat of this hatchback and begin to indulge your desires… or not. Whatever you want is fine. Seriously. I could go either way. Anyway, we’re just about here. Have a super time!