What game is most like your job?

What game(s) feel similar to doing your real-life job?

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m a pharmacist. Working in an American retail pharmacy involves deciphering prescriptions, which is not only making sure you understand what is written.

You also have to determine that the prescription meets all the legal requirements to be considered valid, make sure the drug and dose are appropriate, cross-reference the patient’s other medications, health conditions, allergies, etc.

Then you have to decipher the insurance card, (because unlike the rest of healthcare in the US, drug insurance is billed in real-time so you need to have it accurate before you dispense). Then you have to make sure the prescription is entered into the computer correctly and filled correctly.

All this goes on while some people try to get you to bend the rules due to an increasingly frustrating healthcare system, and others try to pull one over on you, and an evil corporation constantly attempt to take away your support.

I have never felt more “seen” than when I first played Papers, Please. It might as well be a pharmacist simulator.

There is this constant juggling of multiple documents, checking them for validity and checking them against specific rules. There is this feeling of needing to do right by people, while also trying to avoid punishment. There is this dilemma of picking who deserves a little rule-bending and who you have to be strict with. There is the constant fear of repercussions for making a mistake.

I don’t know Lucas Pope’s background, or if he has even made the connection to pharmacy. Still, he nailed it.

Papers, Please is, in my mind, one of the best games ever made. But it is not one of my favorites; it feels too much like work.


I’m an app driver at the moment.

I’m in the process of getting a paper’s please job at the human rights section of the city hall, root for me!!


I work in education, so the real answer is probably some educational game, but let’s ignore that.

When I DM a table top rpg, that’s the closest I’ve come to utilizing my teaching skillset outside of a classroom. It’s a remarkably similar skillset.

Limiting myself to video games… I’m not really sure without picking something that just happens in a school. I kinda want to say tactics games, because they involve a lot of planning, thinking ahead, and improvisation. You also typically manage individuals in a tactics game. Some of the parts of teaching are there.


i work in sales, so pokemon i guess? going out, wearing people down, looking for the right types, cultivating a team, realizing at the end of the day this game actually sucks ass….but a lucrative property overall :money_mouth_face:


Working for a corporation is a lot like Civilization

  • It takes 6,000 years to get stuff done
  • Gotta make every decision without fully understanding how it all works
  • We are always waiting around for money because we spend it all the second we get it
  • Most of the numbers and data is only collected to impress min-maxers, and is without much bearing on reality
  • “Great People” are a limited resource that gets used up and disappears
  • Problems spawn all the time, but like barbarians you kinda just ignore them until it becomes a convenient problem to fix.
  • Management can nuke our project at any point
  • I should quit before the I reach the end of my project and start fresh. The early game is more interesting and the late game is tedious.

Demonschool is based on my real life experiences


I’m a data scientist in all but name for a large corporation so there’s only one game that fits my working life…


By day I design UI and UX, often for the construction industry.

By night I play rock music for crazy freaks.


Even though I’m not really in the “making things” part of the company, my job honestly feels a lot like EXAPUNKS:


Iterate, test, brute-force, break, understand how/why something breaks, write stuff down to help others break it too (a la the zines you get in-game, someone had to break it and brute-force it first, after all) … though I haven’t been asked to hack my own arms (yet).


Great topic idea! I run research for a small not for profit. I’m the only person who sits in this space in the org so I do everything. Probably the closest thing would be a Tokimeki Memorial style dating sim.

There’s a lot of talking to people and trying to foster and seek connections. Given the specific space I’m in it is almost only women. Ultimately you want these to lead to partnership (with other sector people), and this isn’t always fruitful.
I also have a million projects to balance focus (your stat levelling activities), and I don’t have time to do them all. Some are just pipe dreams and some are boring but vital for the org long term. So I need to balance them all enough but focus on the ones that will be most beneficial for the org and progress further.



I’ve worked in restaurants for over a decade, so definitely Overcooked.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun game and I enjoy playing it, but there was a phase my roommates went through a few years ago where I’d get home from my busy, closing dinner shift at the restaurant and they’d want me to play Overcooked with them and it was like I never clocked out. That game just plugs in all those wires in my brain that are activated while I’m at work and I can’t help it.

My friends would always ask how accurate that game is to the real thing, and while I never served food between 2 moving trucks on a highway, or had to worry about a fault opening in the ground during a catering event and separating my stations, it really does capture the frantic, seemingly random nature of having people’s orders thrown at you no matter what you’re doing and having to adjust what it is you’re doing on the fly to accomodate.


I’ve not played any of the Make My Video series where you edit music videos but this cover is a pretty accurate depiction of me editing a game trailer.


When I worked in what was university middle management (directing a center), I started playing Two Point Campus. There aren’t many games focused on universities in a top-down management sim. Despite its inaccuracies, the game at least thematically echoed what I did: help students learn, keep staff happy, and manage a space with limited resources.

Facade also taps into the difficulties of trying to come into a situation and help two people communicate, including all the asides and the strange stares. God, I don’t miss that.


I’m about to transition to a primary teaching role. Like @Mnemogenic, I explicitly think of my teaching in terms of GMing a tabletop game. I think a lot about giving students interesting projects and helping them figure out how to accomplish them. Games tend to be the deliverers of interesting projects rather than putting the player in the position of giving the project.

Two exceptions-as-examples: MUSHes I’ve played on like Elendor often involved creating roleplaying ins that other players could use to get into a scene. That in could be a setting (a bar, a town square, an outpost), a situation (a brawl, a performance, a strange occurrence), or something else. Similarly, in teaching or GMing I am trying to create several ways students can find a way in interest- and skill-wise.


Ultimate Chicken Horse also entails working both collaboratively and competitively to design an obstacle course toward a goal. In each run of a level, each player gets one design piece to place on the map. The competitive aspect is trying to create obstacles difficult enough that someone will struggle with it but easy enough that I can do it. Iterative assignment design is a little like that: I don’t want the task to be trivial, but I want good, fun challenge for students (that, based on my specialty, I can do and can help students do).



Don’t doxx me / we must work for the same company.

My job is kinda like Aerobiz Supersonic but lately I feel like there is less causality between my inputs and the outputs.


The closest to my job might be the early Zachtronics game Ruckingenur II.

It’s a puzzle game based on electronics hacking, and it comes with zero instructions so you basically need an EE degree in order to play it.


Comix Zone.


I’m currently taking a mild hiatus to pursue other interests, but I have a career as an adolescent clinical social worker. the NPC telepathy parts of TWEWY and TWEWY: NEO exercise some of the same mental muscles as my main approach to client work: let someone talk about their problem, and then help them organize the key thoughts so they can further contextualize it.

it’s funny to me that the game frames this as “imprinting,” because for the most part you’re just helping to declutter the NPC’s brain – like they already have the answer, they just lost in somewhere in the mental laundry pile.


now I teach college composition and creative writing, which feels like an open-world RPG that lays out various ways to do something but leaves it to the player to choose and experiment with their own playstyle? Bethesda/Obsidian esque stuff, probably.




One would ideally hope not!!


you set little things up for your students to guide them toward an optimal goal but in the end they have their own ai that thwarts you. as for creative writing (speaking as a former mfa student who taught it)…it might be best described as an idealized but non-existent sims/peter molynieux game where you tend a garden for plants to thrive in their own unique way.