A new computer game casts players in the role of a lawyer taking instructions from Barclays, where the aim is to work as late as possible into the night without being overwhelmed by documents and emails.
'Capacity' was created by Legatics, a tech business which manages legal processes, and is presented as being produced in association with Barclays. Or it was until RollOnFriday asked about it.
Time spent playing the game can, technically, be billed to Barclays.
"See how late in the evening you can stay on top of your work", the game challenges. "Make sure you keep yourself topped up with coffee by touching the vending machine when you become tired".
Capacity mimics the blocky 8-bit graphics of early video games, harking back to the halcyon days when a client's external advisers were unburdened by concepts like 'work-life balance'.
Players are put in the shoes of a solicitor in private practice who, at 5pm, is told by her supervisor, "I have a new matter from Barclays, an important client. Could you stay a little longer?"
Realistically, he doesn't wait for an answer before telling her, "Make sure you pick up all the emails." The solicitor is depicted jumping for joy as her evening plans are ruined.
Didn’t you know? Lawyers love getting shafted.
Players must catch an endless stream of documents as they drop from the ceiling while the minutes tick by. Missing an email or contract results in the loss of a life.
Collecting a token opens a big funnel representing Legatics, which catches documents for the player. This does not mean the solicitor gets to go home any earlier. Instead, she is able to work even later more easily.
Tired? Drink coffee.
The credits for the game state that it was designed by 'Uncle Bloodmoney'.
RollOnFriday asked a handful of Barclay's panel firms what they thought of the game's characterisation of their relationship with the bank, but they declined to comment.
Presumably if you pull enough all-nighters your character wins a divorce.
Daniel Porus, a solicitor and the founder of Legatics, explained that Capacity was “produced in order to provide a light-hearted look at the problem of lawyers working late in the office”. He said it was made “in connection with the company's association with Barclays” at a conference.
However, after being contacted by RollOnFriday, Barclays “expressed concern that the game could have been misinterpreted”, said Porus, and “we were happy to remove their association”.
Porus said Legatics “passionately believes in lawyers working more reasonable hours”. Barclays passionately believes the same. A spokeswoman for the bank said it had created the 'Mindful Business Charter' with panel law firms in 2018, "which aims to tackle avoidable stress in the workplace, including working more effectively to encourage work/life balance". Leaving more time to play Capacity (post your high scores in the comments).