Bitcoin is taking further steps towards mass adoption, now featuring in the popular freemium game, The Simpsons: Tapped Out.
In the game, Homer has neglected his work, playing mobile games instead of monitoring Springfield nuclear power station.
In the new quest, called Crypto Cool, added to the game this week, the player is first tasked with getting Martin to mention blockchain numerous times, without ever explaining what it is. At one point during the dialogue, he says “I mined some bitcoin with my computer, and then the value went through the roof” and also says he had never heard of blockchain “until last week. But now I act like I’m an expert on it!”
Once you’ve completed this task, you will also be asked to encourage three youngsters to mine bitcoin on their computers.
Notably, it isn’t the first time Bitcoin has been mentioned in the popular cartoon’s universe. In a 2013 episode, when Krusty is asked by Lisa whether he is broke, he responds by saying that “all it takes is bad luck at the ponies, worse luck in the bitcoin markets…”
In a 2014 episode, bully Jimbo Jones is pictured on a billboard saying that he accepts bitcoin payments.
Being mentioned on the Simpsons represents a degree of mass media attention and a step towards mass adoption, which many investors and proponents of bitcoin believe to be critical to its long-term success.
Other shows have started to mention bitcoin more often, too. It was mentioned in Family Guy in 2014 and Supernatural in the same year. It has also been mentioned in Almost Human, House of Cards, Person of Interest, and the Good Wife.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a mobile game available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. It was launched in 2012 and is published by gaming giant EA Mobile. EA estimates that it has made more than $130 million since its launch, and while critics initially hit out at the game’s use of the Freemium model, alleging that the in-game micro-transactions required that players invest large sums of money to progress, it has continued to perform for EA, albeit at a reduced rate.