It is as if you were doing work, a new browser game by impish developer Pippin Barr, simulates puttering around inside Windows 95, clicking dialog boxes and mashing your keyboard to type out reports and emails. Depending on your real job, it’s a relaxing desktop toy or a horrifying parody of your waking life. It’s a fine example of the overlooked (and previously unnamed) gaming genre of officecore.
While many games explore exciting professions like pilot, city planner, or hitman, officecore focuses on the drudgery of a desk job. The job’s details are usually generic, its fictional results obscured to heighten the potential relatability. While the average gamer will never slaughter demons or conquer France, they will probably spend some time, maybe all their time, working at a desk, so here’s a chance to help them reinterpret a familiar environment.
As a player, you might use officecore to work out your workplace frustrations. You might find it useful for discreetly passing the time at a dead-end job. Or you might even learn something about yourself and realize you’re approaching your career all wrong. If the idea of playing a game that looks like your day job is off-putting, that already tells you something.
Officecore has three subgenres, in rising order of scope: Desktop simulation, office simulation, and corporate simulation. Desktop sims turn the computing environment into a puzzle or arcade game; office sims explore the workplace as a weaponless first-person shooter, RPG, or adventure; and corporate sims work like top-down simulations such as SimCity or Roller Coaster Tycoon. Each provides a different commentary on the modern white-collar workplace.
Desktop Simulation Games
Desktop sims imitate a typical computer interface, with a varying degree of verisimilitude. While in almost any other desktop…