Why do I love housework in video games so much?

Game news Why do I love housework in video games so much?

Washing dishes, moving house, putting away your belongings… there are so many tasks that can be limiting and that are a real pleasure in video games. At least for me.


This article, being a sentiment post, is subjective in nature. The opinion of the author is personal and does not reflect the opinion of other authors of Jeuxvideo.com.

Chopping wood in Fable, mowing the lawn in No More Heroes, washing dishes in Detroit: Become Human… there are certain painful chores in real life that, oddly enough, I find so enjoyable in the game. the term “garbage work”; understand that mine extends to a generous radius of activity. Take Animal Crossing: we can view the game as a huge simulation of more or less thankless tasks; You have to tirelessly pay the mortgage, build infrastructure and gardening. However, I spent whole days in captivity, achieving these goals with constant pleasure. In real life, I probably wouldn’t plant tomatoes. Historically, we can consider chores to be an integral part of the video game as far back as 1982 with the release of Clean Sweep, where we were cleaning. Today, in addition to simple hard work, we even confirm real professions in triple class licenses, whether in agriculture with Farming Simulator or in the kitchen with Cooking Mama. And then we can of course mention Sims which makes us directly responsible for the management of many family homes, making sure that they do not accidentally die in a pool without a ladder. But why do I like it?

At the snap of your fingers

Why do I love housework in video games so much?

Clearly, moving three-seat sofas or stacking boxes in Moving Out doesn’t feel the same as a real move (especially in terms of fitness, for example). Often this type of game is based on very simple point and click mechanics. Storing your belongings has never been easier than with Unpacking. But why do we like it so much? This is a question I have been asking myself for a long time. The thing is, with just a few clicks, I can do such tedious tasks. Deep inside, my habitual extreme laziness probably thanks me. This inevitably creates a sense of self-satisfaction. This is my guess. Drew Lightfoot, licensed professional consultant and clinical director of Thriveworks Philadelphia (and professor of health research at LaSalle University), has his theory on the subject, which he shared in his Inverse media columns. And not so different:

Our brain is very bad at distinguishing the difference between an imaginary situation and its real experience, whether it be positive or negative. Task-based video games work much the same way. They give us the opportunity to imagine what life would be like if all of our to-do lists were crossed off, and they give us an immediate sense of accomplishment with very little effort. In real life, the same tasks are actually even more fun, but they require a lot more effort to complete.

The explanation quickly reminded me of that old issue of WITCH magazine, in which one of the heroines, gifted with geokinesis, could clean her room at the snap of her fingers. At about eight years old, with stars in my eyes, I found him absolutely wonderful. Nothing really has changed today; getting a perfectly mowed lawn area in lawn mower simulator by lazily placing my finger on the joystick can give me a sweet sense of relief.

relaxing work

To uncover other lines of thought about the pleasure of doing virtual housework, I continued my research. John Wills, author of The Conversation, believes that staging eventsbanal”in the game evokes a feeling of closeness and association with the digital world of games. In a broad sense, by this we mean that the daily routine in the digital world gives a feeling of rootedness and attachment. It keeps. As for “mundane action”, the last experience I can share is probably unboxing, which fits into the storage game genre. The principle is actually very simple: open the cardboard boxes, unpack the contents and put everything away. The story follows the touching evolution of a man’s life in the early 2000s. First, there is the mechanical aspect of the game: we know that the sponge must go to the edge of the sink, or that the computer is on the table in the room. . Placement occurs quite mechanically. Then the whole aesthetic touch: we try to sort the books on the shelf as best as possible, align each figure on the chest of drawers. At this moment, I globally satisfy the need for satisfaction.

Cameron Kunzelman, Polygon journalist, stumbled upon South Korean study which states that older adults who garden regularly have better mental health overall and “have fewer cognitive impairments“. What report will you tell me? Well, Max Kreminsky, who is preparing his PhD at the University of Santa Cruz, is rightfully named garden games“ones that are about responding to and supporting the game space, not dominating it. The unboxing fits that criteria perfectly. And it’s true that I feel especially rested while playing. Even if I would gladly get rid of the plastic Eiffel Towers and unbearable soft toys that the heroine relentlessly puts back into her boxes. In any case, my impression is that this type of game has never been as popular as it is today. Maybe because people need more and more rest?

Thiraxa profile, Jeuxvideo.com

By Thiraxjeuxvideo.com journalist