The VR Game 'Job Simulator' Is a Funny, Smart Take on a Future Where Only Robots Have Jobs

Monday, 22 October 2018 - 12:47PM
Technology
Virtual Reality
Gadgets
Monday, 22 October 2018 - 12:47PM
The VR Game 'Job Simulator' Is a Funny, Smart Take on a Future Where Only Robots Have Jobs
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Screenshot: YouTube
The number of genuine VR gaming 'hits' is surprisingly short, but Owlchemy Games' Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives is up there, which is surprising because it isn't a shooter (like Superhot) or a VR port of a triple-A title (like Skyrim or Fallout). Instead, it's a very funny, well-crafted little simulation of a menial job. You know, the kind you hate in real life? The twist is that the game is supposed to take place in the year 2050, when all humans have lost their jobs to robots and slipped into a funk over becoming obsolete. The game is supposed to be a little treat for us meatbags, where we get to relive the good ol' days when people used to 'job.'



In a recent interview with CNBC, Owlchemy Games CEO Devin Reimer explained how the company decided to pounce on the burgeoning VR market by putting together a simple, humorous game that acted more like a kid's sandbox than a traditional video game. Reimer's career has seen collaborations with Valve, the HTC Vive, and now Google, which bought out Owlchemy Labs following the success of Job Simulator. Last year, the game had made $3 million over its lifetime and became the most downloaded game in the Playstation store for two years straight.

In the game, you can take on one of four jobs, ranging from an office worker to a convenience store clerk, but everything is a little bit off due to historical inaccuracies made by your robot overlords—your office computer has only two keys on the keyboard (a 0 and a 1), for example. The game looks sort of like a cartoon, with blocky environments and simple, low-quality textures, but the real fun comes from being able to interact with everything, including the ability to throw a stapler at your robot boss. According to Reimer: "It turns out if you build something that gives the user a lot of agency they want to play with that agency, so you end up playing with the world closer to the way a child will interact with the world for the first time."

Job Simulator is available on Steam, the Playstation store, and the Oculus store.
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