Could You Survive as a Victorian?

March 18th, 2011

Going Victorian is hot right now, with all those steampunks wearing pinstripes and top hats or corsets and petticoats while they build elaborate steam contraptions. But, seriously, do you think with your crude, unrefined modern ways you could survive in such a buttoned-up well-mannered society?

The Musée McCord in Montreal throws down the challenge with its new online game that asks, “Are you a ‘civilized’ person, suited to the Victorian period?” (Thanks for the heads up, Jezebel.)

You can play as a lady or gentleman, and in the game, you are presented with several different social challenges as amusing clip-art animation acts the scenarios out. While the answers are usually obvious (Read: The opposite of what a nearly any American living in the 2000s would do), it’s actually more fun to screw it up. When you arrive in the wrong outfit, you might get zapped away by aliens or disintegrated by a ray gun shot by a man riding a kangaroo.

Even better is the inevitable admonishment from your tightly wound manners coach, looking perfectly haughty in her high-collared ruffles and pearl earrings, a bow perched a top her head.

(Oh, if only more aspiring comedians heeded this advice.)

Remember that PBS reality show “The 1900 House”? For that, a family had to live for three months without the comforts of modern technology. This computer game, at least, seems like a less-stressful way to test your Victorian-era survival skills.

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