“What is it with these peo­ple and their flu­ids?”

Over­ween­ing self con­fi­dence, GRAVE­YARD KEEPER style


Pos­si­bly drunk on the suc­cess of get­ting the lat­est edi­tion of the mag­a­zine to the prin­ter, I de­cided that not only was I ac­ing my cur­rent job, but I prob­a­bly had the band­width to ex­cel at mul­ti­ple other jobs too. Strik­ing while the iron was hot meant ap­pli­ca­tions and in­ter­views were out of the ques­tion—too time-con­sum­ing. In­stead I turned to my game li­braries. Which is how I came to be a games jour­nal­ist, an aquar­ium ty­coon, an ex­ec­u­tive health­care di­rec­tor, a grave­yard keeper (un­re­lated to the health­care busi­ness, I swear), and a vine­yard owner. My busi­ness cards are now printed on A4 pa­per.

The aquar­ium side of things is go­ing swim­mingly via my Me­gaquar­ium save files. I am the queen of fishy vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences, give or take some un­for­tu­nate preda­tor/prey in­ci­dents and a bit of star­va­tion (both for fish and vis­i­tors de­prived of vend­ing ma­chines).

Health­care is more dicey. My Two Point Hospi­tal em­pire in­volves a squad of stu­dent doc­tors strug­gling to keep up with the area’s de­sire for fluid anal­y­sis. What is it with these peo­ple and their flu­ids? The hospi­tal build­ing is also freez­ing so if I don’t keep up with ra­di­a­tor place­ment ev­ery­one starts shiv­er­ing.

Grave­yard keep­ing should have been the eas­i­est prospect. Or at least the one with the least com­plainants. Alas Grave­yard Keeper is suf­fi­ciently wonky that I’ve man­aged to lose an item which be­stows own­er­ship of an al­lot­ment. With­out the abil­ity to pro­duce car­rots, my grave­keep­ing ca­reer seems un­ten­able, de­spite an abun­dance of har­vested blood. What is it with corpses and their flu­ids?

The vine­yard is my neme­sis. Mostly be­cause I only have the free demo of Ter­roir, so I’ve only been able to muck about with Chardon­nay and Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon.

I man­aged a fab­u­lous bot­tle of Cab Sauv af­ter get­ting to grips with the meth­ods by which you tweak acid­ity and tan­nins—crit­ics loved it! Far bet­ter than that muck I’d con­cocted while the vine­yard went through a fun­gal rot phase. But then the game asked that I buy the full ver­sion. What about all the bot­tles of Pipvine Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2021 in my cel­lar? Peo­ple need these flu­ids!

Jack of all trades

I could scale back, but I’m con­vinced that these games are teach­ing me valu­able skills. I’m close to be­liev­ing that I could op­er­ate a vine­yard. I’m 87% cer­tain I could run a suc­cess­ful aquar­ium. I’m 100% con­vinced I would be the great­est grave­keeper the world has ever known. And if I marry my Two Point ca­reer with that week I spent do­ing work ex­pe­ri­ence at a real hospi­tal in 2001, I’m the ob­vi­ous can­di­date to res­cue the NHS.

“But Pip, none of this is real!” you might say. A fair point, but 1) I can’t hear you be­cause this is a mag­a­zine, and 2) a char­ac­ter in An­i­mal Cross­ing Pocket Camp just of­fered to give me a ref­er­ence as a camp site man­ager. At least SOME­ONE be­lieves in me.

I’m con­vinced that these games are teach­ing me valu­able skills

My true call­ing.

It’s a liv­ing. Iron­i­cally.

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