Let’s face it, real life sucks at times.
It’s filled with lots of annoying little things that nobody wants to do. Thank god games offer us some escape, yeah? We’ve compiled a top ten list of those irritating, annoying, boring and frustrating parts of day-to-day life that videogames handle so much better.
From saving the planet one recycled can at a time to getting poked and prodded by some random person in a lab coat, here are GameSpew’s top ten things that are so much easier in videogames.
10. Cleaning and tidying
We’ve all been there; you’re wandering into town to check out what’s on sale at the game store, and it’s a fairly warm day, so you buy a can of drink on the way. You finish it. Now what? Either carry it around for hours and recycle it when you get home, or seek out a trash can and put it in. Simple.
But if you didn’t recycle, pangs of guilt would cripple you for weeks as you consider the lifetimes far beyond your own that will be severely affected by that aluminium can, sat rusting in a landfill until the end of time. “Welp, guess I’d better spill droplets of sticky, sugary drink all over myself and my new games until I get home then.” In a game though, you have no such worries. Drop it, and it’ll probably disappear into thin air. Sometimes you don’t even have to drop it. Once you’ve used an item, its container ceases to exist within the realms of our reality.
Well, there is one other alternative. Roll up all of your trash into a ball, starting with small things like staples and paperclips before moving on to your can then to old clothes, furniture, people, cars and even buildings. Katamari Damacy had the right idea for tidying up!
9. Dressing appropriately
Real life is so boring. Dinner party? Suit. Wedding? Suit. Job interview? Suit. Compare it to videogames and it’s positively dull. Look, if I want to wear purple hot pants and a top hat while I run the (now second) most insane presidential campaign ever, then I will. If I want to snowboard in the Alps wearing a sleeveless vest and a spiked bike helmet then I will. If I want to attend my friend’s wedding wearing a dinosaur onesie, then I bloody well will!
Although I do reluctantly accept that Wei Shen’s supremely stylish, white-Tuxedo-with-blood-stains look was perhaps a little more cinematic. Show-off.
Eating is fun, sure, but mostly that means it costs more. Buying and eating a pizza is fun, for example, whereas trying to shop for a family of five on a budget in Tesco is not. Also in real life, you’re supposed to eat vegetables and healthy green things occasionally too. That’s why I’m happy that games let me replenish all of my health with a $3 Cluckin’ Bell. Or a random chicken I’ve just found in a wall. Mmmm, wall chickens.
Those of us old enough to remember WWII (well, the classic Medal of Honor games, at least) will fondly recall the health boost you got from sneaking bread from the dinner tables of hungry and unwitting French citizens. Try stealing French bread from your neighbours nowadays and see what happens. Clue: Nothing good.
7. Paying for stuff
Unless you’re inherently filthy rich (…or a criminal), if you need something, you’ll have to go out and work for it. We need to give about 40 hours of our time every week to being a corporate shill in order to pay our rent, feed ourselves and put clothes on our back. Not in video games. Simply wandering around the countryside and chopping down a bush, or rifling through other people’s houses is generally enough to find something valuable. And it’s not even frowned upon. Well, unless it’s Skyrim.
Some games though, will have you doing manual labour in some form or another. In games like Jak & Daxter or Ratchet and Clank, some lowly villager might ask you to run an errand for them (herd yakows, catch fish, collect ten telepathopus brains – that escalated quickly!) and they’ll reward you with precisely what you need to continue: free stuff! Try rounding up 10 chickens into a coop in real life though, it’ll take a lot longer than it does in Zelda – and we’d want a hell of a lot more than a free jug of Lon-Lon milk for our troubles.