A Game About Deciding What Is (And Is Not) Soup

What makes soup qualify as soup? Must it be liquid? What if it's frozen? Need it be edible, or can it contain rocks or batteries? Those are the kinds of heady philosophical questions posed by Something Something Soup Something.

Something Something Soup Something is a free browser game made by Italian philosopher and game designer Stefano Gualeni and his team at the Institute of Digital Games. It takes place in a future where humans have mastered the science of teleportation.

Instead of using it to eliminate scarcity or instantly transport Martin Shkreli to a distant black hole, they have taken to teleporting goods produced by underpaid aliens from distant planets. Goods like soup.

Problem is, aliens don't have the best grip on how human digestive systems work, and the concept of "soup" isn't really a thing in their society. You play as a certified human Soup Technician, and it's up to you to figure out which dishes they send over do and do not constitute soup. Here are a some examples from my playthrough.

Obviously not soup.

Still not soup!

Getting closer, uh, kinda.

This is soup! I'm not sure if it's good soup, but it still counts.

I'll go back and forth on whether or not this one is technically soup until the day I die.

Something Something Soup Something only lasts five to ten minutes. When you finish, the game analyses your decisions, peers into your heart of hearts, and explains what you believe soup to be. Here is my Unified Theory Of Soup according to the soup game:

You might not agree with me. The game's developers say that's the point. "Soup Soup Something Soup is designed to reveal, through its gameplay, that even a familiar, ordinary concept like 'soup' is vague, shifting, and impossible to define exhaustively," they wrote on the game's website.

That's all well and good, but I know I'm right about what soup is. If you disagree, you're wrong. Fight me.


    Soup has to be mostly edible and can't contain an ingredient that will harm/kill someone
    It MUST have a liquid component. It just has to - you can't have solid soup. If you freeze soup, it becomes frozen soup - but it must be reheated or thawed to become soup again.
    It can be partially solid but it has to contain a liquid component. How liquidy does it have to be? Well, if you were to put it on a theoretically perfectly flat surface with a surface area less than the maximal surface area coverable by the object even at its theoretically thinnest spread, then real soup will, eventually, run off the side. If it doesn't, then it's not soup, more of a jello or a custard. But not a soup.

    Whatever you serve it in makes no difference and in terms of utensils, it doesn't matter either. Real soup remains soup regardless of whatever someone tries to eat it with. You can try to eat soup with one of those old mechanical boxing-glove-on-an-extender comedy props - you'll fail, but that's not the soup's fault. Don't blame the soup. Don't even blame the boxing glove. Blame yourself.

      I got one which is a liquid with two celery sticks and eaten(?) with a straw (also: in a hat). Is this a soup, or a drink? - like some hip green smoothie drunk from a weird container?

      If you freeze soup, it becomes frozen soupPut a stick in the middle and you have a soupsicle!


      ...Maybe. But probably not.

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