Labour Day Special: Games About Working Real-Life Jobs


Labour Day weekend is meant to be a day where we celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. As far as video games go, regular occupations in video games include space marine, normal boy who doesn’t know he’s destined to save the world and all-powerful  being with the ability to create farms from the heavens.

The following post highlights a few games worthy of a Labour Day of their own. These video games bravely go into the real-world for inspiration and do their best to make ‘every day’ jobs fun.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Phoenix Wright lives a hard-knock life. Besides the fact that (highlight for spoilers) his boss gets killed right after he becomes a real attorney, Phoenix Wright has way more work to do than the average lawyer. He’s responsible for doing all of the investigation. He also has to prove his clients innocent in a screwy court of law, where attorneys must prove their clients innocent within three days or less or they’re automatically found guilty.

Having this as your real-life job would be horrible. However, Capcom manages to take this occupation and re-purpose it as an awesome adventure game and an awesome adventure game series. I love this series to bits and would recommend this series to almost anyone.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife

The surgeons in the Trauma Center series have it tougher than any real-life surgeon. Beyond dealing with the usual cases of broken bones, polyps and heart attacks, these surgeons often have to deal with crazy mutated viruses that act more like enemies in a shoot-em-up than any real-life virus would, or so I think.

These games are hyper-unrealistic, which in my opinion, kind of takes away from the coolness that is performing surgery. I think this series would stand on its own without the alien-like viruses, but I don’t see Atlus taking that route with this series any time soon.

Diner Dash

I would never succeed as a real-life waitress. I don’t have the time management skills, the memory or the patience to handle it. Diner Dash may not necessarily be the most accurate representation of the job, but it absolutely proves that I’m not cut out for this line of work.

I don’t need to tell you that Diner Dash is insanely popular. In spite of my general terribleness at the game, I can recognize that its core gameplay is great. The casual game space is not really my place, but I wholeheartedly approve of this one.

Harvest Moon

This series made video game farming cool nearly two decades before Zynga had visions of FarmVille. Unlike FarmVille, you’re an actual person who has to do all the legwork that comes with running a farm. On top of that, Harvest Moon also allows you to find true love when you’re not tending to the crops.

I’ve never played a Harvest Moon game, but this series has a rabid fan-base that will play anything with the Harvest Moon name on it. I really don’t think this series is my cup of tea, so I’ll respect it for what it is from afar.

Animal Crossing

On the surface, Animal Crossing is a game about living in a forest with anthropomorphic animals. If you think about it a certain way though, Animal Crossing is the ultimate rags to riches hustler story. You start out in a dingy shack and have a sizable debt to pay. As you progress through the game though, you make money by any means necessary, whether that’s through running errands for Tom Nook, selling items you dug up from the ground or buying and selling turnips in the town’s equivalent of a stock market. Basically, the point of the game is to do whatever you have to do to get paid and should you ‘complete’ the game (which can take dozens, if not hundreds of hours), you’ll have a huge house and a statue in the town in your honour. Should you get that far, you absolutely deserve a Labour Day off.

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