Editorial: After Work, I Like to Go Home and Play Work

Howdy ho, my lovelies.

While traditional JRPGs will always be nearest and dearest to my heart, the runner-up in the Ginia’s Favourite Passtime contest has to be simulation games. There is just something so completely zen and blissful about them, and their constant struggle for perfection and optimal efficiency. I actually find it very relaxing after a day at the office to load up a copy of Harvest Moon and then till, water and harvest my fields, gathering as much as I can before the day (turn) ends, without wasting anything. Every day, moving my little sprite down the rows of crops (laid out for maximum efficiency), harvesting and watering, trying to move with robot-like precision, not wanting to waste a second for fear of the day ending with some crops un-picked. It is so satisfying and even soothing to complete a successful simulated day, regardless of how tedious that day is. Perhaps even because of how tedious it is.

Kids, NEVER plant your virtual crops like this. This image hurts my heart
By now I imagine some of you are rolling your eyes and wondering how in the blooming hell that can be fun. Simulation games can be more work than a real job. As I said, though, there is something just …. so zen about them. I can almost switch my brain over to auto-pilot, when playing a simulation game that I know well and just bask in the glory of the order and perfection that I create, whether it be a bountiful crop, a neatly laid-out city, or an overflowing virtual bank account.

Even when playing games from other genres, I often find myself approaching them as if they were sims. In World of Warcraft I spent so much time and effort gathering valuables for sale and manipulating the economy that it was as if Harvest Moon and one of the Tycoon games got together and had a shiny little baby and I was playing that game instead. Perhaps I am just wired differently, because I realize on an intellectual level that it sounds boring and more than a little stupid to relax after work by pretending to do more work. Perhaps I have OCD and I just really enjoy perfection, and the gaming industry has been exploiting my people for decades with these games.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I am going to go plant some corn and tomatoes in an efficient grid pattern, then design a city with appropriate population and commercial balance.

0 comments

  1. A good Thursday/Friday exploitation of the WoW auction house can net you more gold than you care to count. Gotta love it, and I don’t have a single gathering profession. Some startup capital and you can be the virtual equivalent of Bernie Madoff. I’m really looking forward to the mobile auction house. Goodbye boring hour before the judge takes the bench, hello financial ruin of the Horde.

    I will confess that I do not see the allure of other sim games. The comparison to a Zen garden is apt; I suppose. I always found raking my mini garden to be very un-relaxing and about as helpful to my meditation as black metal. Which is why I prefer the gentle and peaceful art of kenjutsu. Or something like that.

  2. Noob is a doofus, but as he is Australian I have learned to tune out his invalid opinions. <3

    Lane is a big meanie who needs to stop being so jealous of how spiffy the Horde is. I do have to give Lane some love for taking his server's economy, bending it over, and violating it. It really is the second best part of WoW (after punting Gnomes)

  3. Gamers only tend to play games in Oz, we don’t get confused like Canadians.

  4. You can combine the two. I routinely stop my AH shenanigans in Ironforge to line up a bunch of gnomes and sell chances to /punt them.

    Also, my raiding organization is having a 5th anniversary bash complete with a Gnaked Glevel 10 Gnome Grouge Grace from the gates of Ironforge, through Dun Morogh and back. I expect that our Horde equivalents and some of the big Horde raiding guilds will crash it and slaughter them wholesale… which is sort of the point. So I’ll probably respec PVP for the event and take up Shadow’s Edge and go bash some faces in.

  5. @Noob: Shush and go drown yourself in a vat of Fosters. <3

    @Lane: Tempted to roll a DK and kick your gnomes around. :D

    @BR: Sure thing, that's what the interwebs are for. :)