Try this on the train home from work. It only works during winter months when it’s dark outside. Sit by the window and stare at someones reflection. When they see your reflection staring at them, do not react. Enjoy as they try to work out whether you are staring at them or looking out of the window.
I was doing this and freaking someone out until my concentration was broken when a young chap sat next to me. He had hair and was within my comfort zone. Rarely do I come into such close proximity with hair product. I felt uncomfortable and didn’t like it.
He like many others on the train remained glued to his phone. I glanced down to notice that he was playing a game.
Now back in my day, when I was a young baby faced adonis with beautiful blond locks and a glint of potential in my wide eyes, with one of the first in multifunctional Nokia mobile devices, I used to play the game to play. A real challenge, a test of grit, patience, skill, prognostication (I used a Thesaurus) and yet an extremely simple premise. Of course, I’m talking about the legendary game known as, “Snake.”
I’m not a gamer. I don’t have a console and don’t have any intention of getting one. I grew out of gaming when I discovered boobs, guitars and bourbon…biscuits. But it looks like gaming may have taken a few steps backwards.
What was this game? I don’t know the name but let me explain the rules. You are behind a fast food stall. You have sausages, fries, cartons, skewers, donuts and dips. A cartoon character approaches your stall; a speech bubble appears with a picture such as a carton of fries. Then you select the carton, select the fries and then hand it to them. They eat it and they might order something else like a sausage on a stick with ketchup or they’ll walk away and you wait for the next person to come and make an order.
I know, you’re blown away by this aren’t you? As soon as you finish reading this post you’ll be hunting on your phone for the app!
Okay, Snake wasn’t the most exciting game but it was a challenge. This game was essentially being a fast food vendor. The endless unstoppable imagination and subsequent possibilities of the gaming frontier and yet here, this chap is serving up greasy fries and donuts to ungrateful computer animations. And at no point did I see money changing hands! It’s not even encouraging good business sense!
So is this where we’re at with gaming these days? We’re done with exploring planets, flying fighter planes and space ships, racing supercars, first person shoot em ups, martial arts masters and strategy. No, they’re all old hat. Let’s spend twenty minutes frying food on a street corner!
I wonder if there are other jobs that are seemingly mundane that we can then turn into a high octane, heart thumping exciting rollercoaster of gaming excellence.
Stamp a book, stamp a book, receive a book, stamp a book, someone joins up, ooooh collect a fine for late return of a book about penguins!
The Ticket Inspector!
Check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, Issue a fine, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, tell them they’re on the wrong train, check the ticket, call British Transport Police because a drunkard is swearing at you, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, check the ticket, issue a fine!
The Potato Quality Controller!
Good potato, good potato, good potato, good potato, Bad potato, Bad potato, good potato, good potato, good potato, good potato, Bad potato, good potato, bad potato, bad potato, good potato, good potato, good potato good potato, good potato.
Good potato, Bad potato, Bad potato etc etc.
But then I notice that this young chap next to me is dressed in formal trousers and shoes and has sensible socks, so it’s safe to assume that he works in an office environment much like myself.
So I wonder if somewhere, perhaps on a street corner in New York, there’s a street vendor having a break, on his phone playing one of the greatest gaming apps ever invented. It’s addictive and thrilling. So thrilling you risk missing your stop when gaming whilst using public transport. That is because he’s playing the cutting edge in realistic gaming technology. He’s playing, The Insurance Claims Handler!
Game play may consist of the following:
Set up a claim, check the policy wording, turn it down, take a call, get shouted at, pay a claim, pay another claim, set up another claim, take another call, get shouted at, bonus points for calming them down, tell them they’re underinsured, bonus points for hearing the phrase, “What’s the point in having insurance!?”
Set up a claim, check the policy, pay a claim, turn another claim down, deal with some post, have a colleague next to you have a break down, take a call, take another call and get shouted at, pay a claim, pay a claim, close a claim, deal with someone who has a leak and doesn’t realise that you are not a plumber, avoid another colleague who has a break down, go to the loo for five minutes to escape, bonus points for getting the drinks in to try to raise the morale of your colleagues, take a call, get shouted at for not picking the phone up even though you are actually on the phone, lose 10 points!
Just a thought. Am I wrong? What do you think would make a good mundane game?