Have you ever thought about how games give us a bunch of busywork that is a lot like doing chores? Some games it isn’t so obvious, but load up The Sims and it doesn’t take long to realise that you are bossing a little virtual person around the house, making them tidy up, do laundry, study, gardening and the like, probably while you are in your pyjamas all day, laundry and garbage piling up around you.
Because games generally let you achieve pretty much anything with the comparatively minimal effort of tapping a few buttons, we sometimes end up doing things we wouldn’t do in normal life, or wouldn’t want to do in normal life. This could be something strenuous or dirty or it would just take up too much of our time. I am talking about things beyond the obvious stuff, like running headlong into a base full of highly trained and well-armed mercenaries. Here are some things that we happily do in games, but would probably never do or hate to do in real life.
Clean a plot and start a farm
I’m looking at you, Stardew Valley! You quit the ratrace and start out on a farm, but the farm is a complete mess of fallen trees, rocks, weeds and more. So you set to work clearing it, making it a perfect place to plant crops and raise livestock. Everything is in its place, the grass is nice and short and that pile of rubble was moved away.
Now if you could go outside and mow the lawn and maybe repair that fence while you are at it… then come to my house and do the same, please?
This point lost a bit of momentum when a few people announced yesterday that they walk everywhere in their games, never running, but besides those people, most of us travel at the fastest speed possible. If you can’t mount up, you are jogging. Sprinting in bursts if allowed, but we hardly walk in games. There is just too much world to cover and explore to move too slowly. In the real world though, jogging around is going to get you frowned at. Was there an accident/ crime/ reason for you to move faster than a walk? Unless you are wearing takkies and sweatbands, you probably aren’t jogging around the place, which makes the jogging in games just seem weird. Come on, you are in a church, do you have to jog through the place?
Sort your massive inventory neatly
In games your items are probably sorted near immaculately. Neat piles of items, all stacked together. 100 bobby pins, 24 phoenix downs, the 17 short swords you stole to sell or use for synthesis. Everything is in its place, neatly stacked, sorted, counted and you probably have a rough idea of what a vendor will give you if you take them to trade right now.
Now if you could sort the stuff in your cupboards. No? Maybe get rid of or process those slips in your wallet for Tax?
Rummage through rubbish
You are the Lord of Dragons, the Chosen One, the Best Mercenary ever. You are… WHY ARE YOU DIGGING THROUGH THE TRASH?! Surely if it was useful, it wouldn’t have been thrown out in the garbage? Wait, someone tossed out a perfectly good potion. Weird that that happened. Maybe it was a mistake. I am totally not going to wonder about that potion’s contents, or if you wiped off the bottle before adding it to your medicine bag. If you ever walk into a park and get an urge to filter through the bin bags or the various piles of leaves hoping for items or a few bucks, we need to talk.
Carry around 20 of every single useful item
I have a camera bag that weighs around 4kg when I have all the gear I want for the day. It doesn’t sound like much, until you have it on your back all day for two days and your spine and torso tell you off. (Some hikers go up to 10kg, but they are already questionable because they like WALKING.) Packing light is pretty essential, unless you are in a video game. Oh boy, that back pack is going to be overflowing. Whetstones to sharpen your weapon? 20 of them! Food for a long time away from your home? 20 of each different food. Yeah not 20 things to eat in total, I mean 20 of each food group. There is a literal all you can eat buffet for several people in your backpack, and you keep shoving more stuff into that bag of yours. Imagine what it smells like. Also how are you keeping the food separate from those animal hides, piles of gloop and in some games, random body parts?