McSweeney’s Internet Tendency editor Christopher Monks has a new book out today: The Ultimate Game Guide to Your Life; or, the Video Game as Existential Metaphor. It’s written as a faux game guide to a fictional role-playing video game called Your Life. The reader follows the life of the main character, an unassuming everyman, from his birth to his death, as if he were the main character in a Sims-like video game. Each level of the game is a developmental phase of his life, and the book offers tips throughout to help readers have the most satisfying game (life) experience as possible. Below are a few of the many mini-games found in Your Life’s third level, “Your Adolescence.”
Sleeping Until Noon
Every Weekend Morning
This mini-game doesn’t take a lot of energy to win. Simply stay in bed until noon on weekend mornings and you’ll earn yourself one Life Point (LP). The extra-sleep button on your controller (X-BUTTON) is the main player here.
Warning: The more consecutive weekend mornings you sleep till noon, the more irritated your parents will get with you. Your slothfulness is a constant source of aggravation for them, and they’ll seek to make you pay for it, usually by adding more house chores or making you visit elderly relatives you couldn’t care less about. For every house chore added or elderly relative you’re forced to visit, you’ll lose an LP. So be sure to get out of bed before noon at least once a month.
Notice My Mustache
This mini-game is something of a double-edged sword, or, better put, a double-edged razor. Should you choose to let that peach fuzz above your lips accumulate, you’ll earn a Life Point every time somebody other than your parents notices or comments on your mustache. However, after a game-year or so has passed and you see a photograph or home video of yourself with the mustache, you’ll be mortified and lose a Life Point.
Enduring the Sex Talk With Dad
You can play this mini-game whenever Dad enters your room holding a copy of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives. He’ll start off talking about sports, usually football and the best defenses to employ while in the red zone. Then, out of the blue, his monologue will veer off course and he’ll ask you if you know what a wet dream is.
You’ll start off this mini-game with five Life Points. You’ll lose an LP for every five game-minutes he lingers in your room talking to you about penises and vaginas and being responsible and stuff like that. Answer “Yes, I know” to each of his questions and wait patiently for him to leave.
Tip: Don’t act curt or dismissive, or he’ll think he has failed and will come back again, only this time with a box of condoms and a banana.
Busing Tables at the Jungle Hut
To win this mini-game, you’ll have to bus three tables in three game-minutes. Seems easy enough, but the enormous half-full plates and bowls of food are incredibly unwieldy. For every plate or bowl you drop on the floor, you’ll lose you a Life Point.
The Jungle Hut, though, isn’t exactly the best workplace environment in the world. Its décor is loud and busy, with dozens of animatronic jungle animals moving and growling at all times. There’s also the artificial thunderstorms that confuse and rattle the senses. To top it off, your co-workers are enthusiastic yet soulless people who drain the life force out of you with every vapidly cheery greeting and/or passive-aggressive admonishment they utter.
Tip: Hide used plates and glasses behind one of the larger robotic animals, like the anaconda or the orangutan. In addition, you can dump silverware in the bottom of any of the seven artificial waterfalls in the restaurant.
Master of Masturbation
As you might expect, this is one of the more controversial mini-games in Your Life®. Not only can you play it throughout the level but you can play it throughout the rest of Your Life® as well. You get one Life Point for every time you masturbate. Simple as that. Given how easy and fun this mini-game is, many gamers play it over and over again.
Despite what some critics say, we see nothing wrong with this mini-game. Masturbation is perfectly normal and healthy, and even though it tends to sidetrack many gamers and impede them from getting on with their lives, they shouldn’t be derided or treated like deviants.
The only drawback to frequent masturbation is that, should your parents or sister accidentally walk in on you while you’re masturbating, you’ll lose 100 Life Points. So try to be as discreet as possible while playing this mini-game.
Tip: Play this in your room, under your sheets, either late at night or early in the morning, or when everyone else is out of the house, or (if they’re home) when they’re watching television or making dinner or otherwise engaged, so that you feel confident enough that they won’t barge in on you and ruin everything.
Warning: Under no circumstances should you play this inside the linen closet at your aunt’s house while your second cousin Suzie is using the bathroom. That would be gross and inappropriate. Plus, it’s not nearly as titillating as you’d expect. Take it from us. We know.