Exhausted from lengthy RPGs and heavily story-driven games, I took off to Steam to find something cheap that I could play in small bursts to keep me entertained. Massive, immersive games are fun, but you can only take so much of them for so long before you start to severely burn yourself out. I needed something unfamiliar and simple, but engaging enough where it was able to keep my attention. And that’s when I found it; My Name is Mayo, the story of a finger-clicking on a jar of mayonnaise.
There is one objective throughout the entirety of the condiment journey: click the mayonnaise. The jar can be clicked by either right-clicking the jar itself, pressing space, or cleverly doing both to tap faster. There are four stories that can be chosen from in the achievements section that progress as the jar is clicked more and more. To be honest, it’s a rather boring experience. On a technical level, My Name is Mayo is a horrible joke, and I’m not really laughing anymore after the first few clicks, but for some bizarre reason, it kept me enthralled enough to get every single achievement, view every story, and click the jar 10,000 times.
I wouldn’t call it a fun experience, it’s menial, but the concept itself lends to some introspective thought. It’s fairly priced at .99, so financial resentment never really builds, allowing for the game to really stand on its own. My Name is Mayo is an anti-game. It’s not fun, it poses no challenge, and it makes a mockery of achievement hunters, but if it isn’t engrossing as hell.
I felt a true sense of accomplishment when I first hit 1,000 taps. I felt proud that I was able to sit down and click on a jar of mayonnaise that much. I had stopped paying attention to the story at this point, but that hadn’t mattered anymore, the real story was happening within me; would I be able to conquer this behemoth?
I felt something I hadn’t felt from a game in a long time; I felt personally invested. There were no stakes but my own personal feelings, I couldn’t let the game beat me, I couldn’t leave this journey unfinished, and so I kept tapping.
Getting to 5,000 was simple enough. I muted the game, put on my own music, and relaxed as I tapped away, but once I hit 5,000 I felt a wave overwhelm me. Getting to 5,000 was easy because in reality, I was humoring myself, who would really tap a jar 10,000 times? But upon getting to the halfway point I realized just how reachable my goal was and how far away I was from it. This wasn’t a joke anymore, I was dead-set on making it to the end.
As I reached 6,000 I began to feel physically tired. My aggressive tapping had slowed down, my wrist hurt, and my index finger was stiffening, this was the moment where it would all be decided; was I a man, or was I mayonnaise? I continued to click for 10 more minutes until finally reaching 8,000. It was there where something awakened in me, a burning passion for video games I hadn’t felt since I was a child. It was as if I had made it to a final boss of a game I had spent years playing, it was not just a culmination of my skill, but also my sheer determination.
As if everything were on the line, I pounded on the mouse and keyboard, shooting myself up to 9,000. I felt my goal in reach, and before I knew it, I had reached 10,000. Throughout this whole journey, I had questioned why I had been doing this, but never quite came to an answer. Hitting 10,000 though, I realized none of that mattered, because I had done it and that was enough for me. I gave meaning to My Name is Mayo and, in a way, that’s the best kind of meaning you can get out of a game.
My Name is Mayo seems like a pretty pointless game, and for the most part, it is, but it’s the kind of game that lets the player make up the challenge. Other developers probably won’t learn from it and it most definitely will not be remembered in years to come, but it’s a strong example of how a low-stress game can be just the right medicine to keep you from burning out.