Career Simulators

Mark Lautenschlager for “Into Tomorrow” wrote a piece entitled “Pondering the Existence of Career Simulators.”

While I enjoyed the article’s light tone in regards to the value of “Farming Simulator 2017” to most video game players, I was a bit disappointed in his overall findings.  I have written in the past, and still believe, that I think a sort of “career counselor” series of games for a huge variety of jobs would be invaluable to junior and senior high school students — not to mention college students and older adults.

I do agree with Lautenschlager that there is certainly room for more “fun” in these kinds of games, and that is where simulator game makers sometimes miss the mark.  But I believe the ultimate goal in these kinds of games should be to give the player a taste of what the actual job is like.  If the game is also enjoyable enough to entice a great number of video game players, then that’s a large plus.

Beyond that, at some point it would be nice to see a kind of serious game standard — or wrapper — produced for snippets (demos) of these kinds of games, such as one that would include an interview, day on the job play, perhaps an associated questionnaire to determine if it’s the kind of job for the player, and other things common to jobs.

Not that full career simulator games need to fit a standard, but samples from these games that included the wrapper could be compiled and joined into an indexed — or encyclopedic, if you will — career counselor website — a kind of CareersGameWiki with sample gameplay and meaningful associated data and information.  It would also serve as a nice advertisement for the game maker, for anyone wanting to further explore the whole video game.

I’ve always felt that it would be great for both children and adults to have a place to go to find out about any career possibility — even ones that might not exist yet but will in the future.  When I was a child, encyclopedias and career counselor offices or libraries at schools were my choices — or, when really lucky, the opportunity to spend a day and learn with someone on the job.  But with today’s technology, there should be so much more!

Below is a video showing some of the career simulator type games of 2013, including “Farming Simulator.”