Work/Life: It’s The Hot New Computer Game – Grand Theft Quality Time IV



  • Not surprisingly, the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto,the reprehensible yet popular (what, something in America is popular eventhought it’s tasteless?) video game has arrived with its share ofcontroversy.  Well, such dust-upswill be nothing compared to the outcry that will accompany the upcoming releaseof the new interactive extravaganza from Stern Enterprises, “Grand TheftQuality Time IV.”  In much the sameway as GTA gives its users vicarious cheap thrills by allowing them to indulgein unpleasant car-related behavior in which they don’t usually indulge, GTQTlets people who are trying to be good little work/life balance practitionersrun an obstacle course of ill-advised offerings.  Here are just a few of the highlights of this exciting newgame: 
  1. The storyline follows Werk A. Holic, an unrepentant moverand shaker as he navigates through the seamy underbelly of a rain-soakedmetropolis called TimeSuck. 
  2. Players assuming the role of Werk must attempt to veer offinto the city of TimeSuck’s many distractions, including the deadly presence ofreadily available wi-fi, and office buildings that have their own food courts,while taking calls from family members whom they assure they will be righthome.  
  3. Deep in the bowels of TimeSuck lies the village ofiPhone.  Here, the challenge is toavoid being decapitated by a variety of passing hazards (glass panel trucks,pedestrians who happen to be strolling by with rotary saws, etc.) while walkingaround you’re your head down because you are constantly interacting only withyour iPhone.   Bonus work/lifedestruction points awarded for making it to the other side of iPhone villagewith your head still attached. 
  4. Celebrity cameos include the likenesses of Tony Robbins andSuze Orman, who, while inspiring you to even further achievement-relatedsuccess, also happen to be naked. (The game company made me put that in.) 
  5. Finally, Emotion Alley provides the most terrifying setpiece in all of GTQT.  It uses abuilt-in tool that allows the player to insert the heads of family members andloved ones, even the family dog, onto the bodies of oncoming“affection-seekers.”  Theseaffection- seekers stumble toward you like zombies, crying out for an eveningin, a weekend away, your appearance at a school play or any number of thingsthat put demands on your non-work time. To survive Emotion Alley you have to run as fast as you can past thesepitiful pleas for human (or animal) contact, and then punctuate your ignoringof their needs by attending a different Power Point presentation on morale forevery loved one you neglect.  Ifyou’re playing the game right, this particular portal should culminate in yourbeing institutionalized.    
  • So, whaddaya say…you game?