Monday, May 24, 2010

My cat is a time-management game

You know you've been playing Cake Mania too much when aspects of your life turn into tiny in-game goals.  When I played The Sims 3, parts of my life had tags assigned to them - "+10 moodlet" for a random compliment, "-100 moodlet" for a particularly depressing day.  I'm still chuffed that my boyfriend gave my representational Sim the trait 'Good', which means I can use the skill 'Brighten Day' to make any other Sim feel good about themselves for 2 hours.

My cat is like a slow-motion time management game.  The has feeding times - 7am and 6pm - and affection management techniques - cuddles when I get home, pats while eating and a warm spot on the bed - to ensure the smooth running of the household.  She can go outside on weekends, as long as we'e watching her, and never for more than about 15 minutes, because she won't wear a collar, so she can't leave the premises.  If she's awake for too long while we're asleep, she cries.  It's like having a highly agile infant.

Then there are the micromanagement moments that I'm sure would be Wii minigames if they could figure out a control scheme - pat until the tip of the tail starts flicking, change to scratching just above the eyes, and watch out for the head twist in an anti-clockwise direction that means 'danger!'.  Coincidentally, a head twist in a clockwise direction means 'keep going!', so be careful not to get those two confused.  Judge her mood carefully before attempting to pick her up, and make sure to keep your hands out of sight when doing so.  Know when she's cold and warm her up, but not too warm, or she'll run away.  Don't use a blowdryer.

Somehow, although Nintendogs was an amazing hit, I can see why they didn't make Nintencats.  It would be the micromanagement king.  Forget StarCraft, WoW and Settlers - cats win, hands down.  They are the ultimate in resource management, and the midnight-awakening reason for such an abstracted blog post.  Now, once they manage to integrate real-time scratching and biting into a game handset, the experience will be complete.

I don't know about you, but if Natal had real-time cautionary feedback, I think it would certainly add a new edge to gaming.  Now I'm going to try to get some sleep, before any more puns kick in.

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