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Anyone who plays arcade games knows that, despite public perception, gaming is hard work that requires skill, practice and often an around-the-clock commitment. For most gamers, this sadly undervalued dedication will fail to provide the income that any truly just society would offer, and instead the day will come when it is time to face the sunlight and get a job. Thankfully, rather than rushing into a role that may quickly become tiresome, gamers are able to sample a surprising variety of jobs from the comfort of their bedrooms, thanks to a range of more or less thoughtfully designed simulators. One can, for example, learn whether you have what it takes to blow up abandoned shopping malls and obsolescent car parks with Blast Simulator, a demolition game that was itself demolished by reviewers.
If you were thinking of something more mundane, maybe you could try you hand at barkeeping – a trade that it’s always useful to know, as we’ll always need someone to pour our beer and tell us when we’ve had enough. In that case, Moonstone Tavern is the simulator for you: to be successful at this one, you will quickly have to learn how to turn a profit while keeping your customer base of “grumpy dwarves and sad fairies” happy. Just like in the real world. For something with less sense of responsibility, perhaps hacking would be a great vocational skill to pick up? Not sure if it’s truly a ‘job simulator’, but they say there’s money to be made from the real-life version of the HACK_IT game.
Of course, if you’re familiar with the movie War Games, in which a young Matthew Broderick believes he’s playing a nuclear warfare strategy game only to discover he’s actually operating the real thing, you may think twice about logging into Surgeon Simulator 2013 or Airport Madness (in which you play an air traffic controller guiding in up to 100 aeroplanes at a time). If you’re pretty confident you can turn your hands to any trade without causing mass carnage, though, check out this rundown of some of the most popular and/or unlikely job simulators on the market, for all the excitement of nine-to-five employment without the need to change out of your pyjamas.