Tag Archives: chores

A Tale of Two Trash Cans

Sara started playing her video game without a care in the world. Her character ran around the town helping villagers. One spectre haunted the town: the smell of rotting garbage that rats grew fat on it.

Sara’s character took action into her own hands. She challenged the rats’ king to a gallant sword fight. She snapped the king’s sword in half and sent the lot of them scurrying for cover in the sewer, and the villagers gave her warms hugs. This victory over the king was just the start of the character’s good work.

Sara’s character sauntered around the town, throwing out everyone’s trash. When she emptied the last trash can, the villagers held a celebration. The fireworks were deafening!  The gold flowed towards her like a running river. They even painted a massive portrait of her character ascending into heaven. The corners of Sara’s lips curled into a smile warm enough to melt ice.

Suddenly Sara was jolted from this fantasy slumber when her roommate Samara entered the room and said, “Hey, what have you been doing all day?” Before Sara could reply, Samara spoke again, “I’ve just run a mile, filed my taxes and strategized paradigm shifts for my meeting.”

Sara hit pause on the game and said, “I had oatmeal and took out the garbage.”

“Pfft! Took out the trash,” Samara muttered as she turned around and walked away. She walked away so tall and so straight that one could have mistaken her for a steel poll.

Sara looked at Samara’s back for two seconds. She glanced at the TV screen. She scratched her head. After all of that, she shrugged her shoulders and kept playing her game.

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Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction

The Sun Also Sinks

One sunny day, I found myself sitting on the couch not knowing how I got there. This weird black thing with two joysticks fell into my hands. I didn’t know what this thing was, but I decided to tap the button in the center and see what would happen. Next, these bright colours popped up on the screen and nearly blinded me.

On the screen, my bipedal, anthropomorphic, cute and cuddly lamb character was in her warm, wooden house. I controlled her, moving her about the house while looking for things to do. Then I drew up a list of chores for the lamb to complete.

The lamb started by sweeping all the floors. Afterwards, there was enough lint and fuzz, I reckon, to make fifty fluffy blankets. Then the lamb blew on all the old NES cartridges to get rid of their dust. She bagged up all the dust and fuzz — ready to dispose of it.

Before dumping the garbage, the lamb washed all the dishes. After all, flies buzzed around the house and fed off her dirty plates. After washing, the lamb noticed some scraps had fallen off the dishes and on the floor. She reacted by cleaning the floor until its sparkle rivaled what would be one jealous diamond. Finally, she cut the grass, pulled some weeds and threw out the trash.

The lamb started to yawn and yearned to settle down for a long night’s sleep. The full moon popped up to wish her sweet dreams as she put on her slumber mask. She imagined humans jumping over fences as her eyes closed one at a time.

I shut off the game. I patted myself on the shoulder for such a productive day.

Then I got off the couch, turned around and saw my leaning stack of dishes had fragmented in to a thousand pieces on my floor. An archaeologist, one day, would be excited by such a find. For now, I moved forward and waded through a sea of garbage bags, complete with flies who’d taken up residence on top of them, in my living room.

As I reached my bedroom door, a tumbling tumbleweed of dust and fuzz rolled by me. I stopped to let it pass. I reached my bedroom window and shut the blinds to avoid the milky full moon that bathed the night with light. “Hmmm,” I thought as the blinds covered the window, “I’ll have to pull those weeds and cut that meter-long grass one day.” Then I fell on my bed and shut my eyes.

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Filed under Video Game Misc.

Why Do We Do Chores in Video Games?

We whine about doing chores, yet we enjoy tending to our gardens in video games. Why is that?


Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Games: Reader Q&A

Video Game Substitutes Are Sweeping the Nation

Are you cool? Well you might be very uncool and not even know it.

Here’s a simple test: do you still play video games? If you answered yes, then you’re uncool. Video games are so last year, and the cool kids would never be caught playing them.

Do you want to be cool? Then play video game substitutes just like everyone else.

Start by taking out the trash to the front of house. Do this while jumping over the cracks in the sidewalk to avoid falling into a fiery lava pit beneath you. You might not see the pit, but rest assured, it has claimed many victims and their stinky garbage.

The most popular substitute, though, is dish washing. Wash and dry your dishes — by hand — before the timer runs out! You want to talk about survival horror? Try surviving the horror of a sink overflowing with dirty dishes.

In short, video game substitutes are sweeping the nation, and offering you the chance to be cool. Don’t delay! Pick up a broom and sweep the front porch.


Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Game Technology

Try These Video Game Substitutes

Life has a way of keeping you from playing video games. You’re ready to play but then there’s a massive power outage in your neighbourhood. Or you have to catch up on your homework because you’ve used that “my dog ate my homework” excuse too many times. Maybe you’re faced with a laundry list of chores.

You have to do these tasks and probably see them as a pain you can’t avoid. At best, you might see them as a thing you’re doing when you could be playing video games. However, you could look at these tasks in a different way.

You see, these tasks could be a fun game to pass the time. The tasks or chores could become video game substitutes. They are substitutes because they temporarily replace the video games you really want to play until you have time to boot up your PC, handheld or console. They are not video games, and they are not slickly produced by a team. All you need to start playing these substitutes is an imagination.

Here are some game substitutes you can try today. Play concentration while sorting your socks. To start, pull your crackly, staticky socks out of the dryer, throw them in a hamper and mix them up. Then, see how many pairs you can match before you crave video games and break into a sweat. If you’re living on your own, like me, the game might break down eventually when you’re left with an odd number of unmatched socks.

You could also time yourself while you clean your pots, pans and kitchen after a big party. See if you can clean up this mess before the five-minute timer runs out.

Finally, you could pretend the stains on your kitchen floor are aliens who have enslaved humanity. Every time you wipe one away, you are freeing your brothers and sisters from servitude. You’d have fun playing, have a clean apartment and save humanity. Thank you in advance.

Do you not have enough time in your life to play video games? You should give video game substitutes a chance. You might find you like them even more than the real thing.


Filed under Video Game Misc.

Level Up Everything Until You Drop II

Video game hippieOur fun deprived world needs video games. Great games are fun, they might inspire us to ponder life’s big questions, and the game industry employs so many people. But what if video games could make our lives a little easier too?

We could borrow the concept of leveling up – a video game term – and use it to make life easier. When you level something up in a game, it’s usually a joy to do it. You might then customize or upgrade that thing to improve it. You could level up your character, a weapon or a vehicle.

Now, imagine if you could level up things to help you in life. Here’s a fun list of things that I wrote:

1. Level Up Chores


Taking out the trash is a time-consuming and stinky affair. I can think of many other things that I’d rather do.

If I could level up doing the garbage, I would get a robot. R.O.B., that delightful Nintendo creature, could do the job. He would organize my garbage, recycling and leaves, and wheel it out to the front lawn on collections days.

No need to get my hands covered in rotten vegetables when the bags break. No flies buzzing around me. No fishy smell from the garbage bin.

Everything would smell rosy. That is, of course, unless my robot turned on me and dumped the garbage all over me. I’d better hire another robot to keep an eye on R.O.B., just in case.

Washing dishes

You might wash dishes with your hands. Or you might use a dishwasher that runs on foamy soap and leaves your dishes sparkling clean. Either way, you’re spending a lot of time and money to do this chore.

I think Pokémon could help us here. If I were to level up doing the dishes, I would use a Squirtle, or something similar, to get the job done. I think a Blastoise might just destroy any fine china you have. Then I could do all the dishes without spending a dime on water for this chore.

What about if you’re catering for a party? How would you clean up all of your dishes? I would level up a Squirtle until it evolved into a Blastoise to spray all the dishes at once. Step back and put on your safety goggles first.

Cutting grass

Level up and then use sonic supersonic speed to cut the grass. The neighbours would feel dizzy as they watch a blue blur cut everything in under a minute. But then they’d have a smile on their face and the neighbourhood would seem like a happier place all because of my lawn.

2. Level Up Transportation

Deflection shield

Imagine if you could level up a shield to keep people or objects from bumping into you. Pedestrians would feel a lot safer crossing the street. Cars wouldn’t crash into each other. Cyclists could ride safely on the street without fear. Children could run into the street to pick up a stray soccer ball.

Ok, I think you get the point.

Cars without damage

Alright, drivers wreck their cars all the time. What if we could borrow the idea of damage-free cars from racing games? I’m talking about old school games here. Also, race car drivers no longer need to fret about totaling their cars when they crash into a will.

Hover Boots

You need to move from point A to point B as fast as possible. How are you going to do that? Running on your feet is so pedestrian, and hover boots are so much better. They’ll get you where need to go to save the day. Start saving up those experience points today so you can level up your plain old boots.

3. Level Up Time

No more time-wasting. That means more time to love others and more time for this blog and my short stories.


Imagine a better world with all these things leveled up. I wonder if you can…

Just call me the video game hippie.



Filed under Video Game Misc.

The Smart Way to Work?

Video Game Work - Doing the DishesYour Couch and a Controller

You play video games to have fun. But why do you put up with work in video games?

By work, I mean actions you do for a living or as household chores. By contrast, hobbies are something you do after work for fun. For most people, they may race or play sports as a hobby.

Lots of games let you race, shoot, fly and jump, but Animal Crossing somewhat blurs the line between hobbies and work. I mean you could work as landscaper by day. Then you could come home and relax as you pull weeds and plant flowers in that game.

I mean, one can pull weeds and plant flowers in life for relaxation. Or they could try one of the many other video games out there.

My friend got me thinking about Animal Crossing, so blame him. The other day he told me about his GameCube. Yes, he is a little behind the times. Anyway, he praised Animal Crossing and loved to plant and fish in that game.

I had to interrupt him.

“What’s so fun about that game?”

He paused, furrowed his brow, and gave me a quizzical stare.

Then he said, “You mean about doing work in video games? I don’t know why, but I love to fish and do errands in Animal Crossing.”

I’m still not satisfied with his answer.

Video Game Work: Three Silly Theories

So, I’ve come up with some silly reasons why gamers might like to do work in video games.

1. Work is always fun in a fantasy world. Just think of what you do in Animal Crossing. “Sure, Mr. anthropomorphic Cat with a corncob pipe, I’ll help take out your trash.”

2. People are so bored out of their minds that they’ll play anything. Hopscotch and solitaire aren’t cutting it anymore.

3. People like to run errands from their couch. I suppose a comfy couch with enough pillows to break an elephant’s fall is hard to resist.

A Revolution or Never-ending Work?

There is a spectre haunting all video games: it is work. Gamers of the world must decide tonight. We must lop off the head of work with an iron sickle or revel in digital chores.

Oh, wait, my virtual sink’s full, and I like my dishes sparkling clean. See you later.


Why is it so much fun to do work or chores in games?


Filed under Video Game Misc.