Playing Around

If you like to explore the mushroom-filled world of the Mario Brothers or mutilate mutant zombies in a glorified and gory fashion, there are a variety of video games on various consoles that allow you to do this. But it seems like it might be time for a game that will capture the Singaporean imagination. With that in mind, we made up a list of completely fictional video games we’d love to play that take our Singaporean lifestyle into account.
Resident Office
We’re sure you’ve thought about this one. Those co-workers who just refuse to flush the toilet, eat and drink your stuff from the pantry’s fridge and spend all day gossiping by the water-cooler—don’t pretend like you haven’t dreamt of beating the snot out of them.
We’d love to see a game where you get to vent these frustrations, preferably via the first person shooter platform (think Counter-Strike or Resident Evil). The objective is to arm yourself with potentially dangerous office tools like that bulky printer toner or the industrial sized stapler, then head from department to department, bludgeoning those imbeciles. Naturally, your final opponent would be the company’s head honcho.
We figure that this idea would sell like hotcakes and—contrary to reports of video game-inspired violence—might even make for a better work environment with all that animosity out of the way. Imagine Resident Office therapy sessions (after particularly brutal meetings) where workers get to play the hell out of the game instead of trooping off to the neighborhood coffee shop for a grouse. Doesn’t the mere thought of this bring a sense of relief?
Grand Taxi Uncle
There are few challenges greater than trying to get a cab during the dubious pre-midnight charge hour (between 11pm-midnight)—so we figured this would make a great video game, styled after the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto.
You’d have to partake in various “missions” involving particularly troublesome taxi drivers—like finding one who isn’t on call or can actually change a $50 note. We’d even throw in little bonus rounds where you can earn extra points if you can keep your player interested in whatever it is the taxi driver’s rambling on about.
We can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t want to give this game a go. After all, it would be nice to gain sweet victory over those sneaky cabbies—without having to stand by the road for a good hour.
World of Shopping
Anyone who’s ever been through a mega sale knows that surviving one takes a whole lot of skill, planning, grit and guts. You need a perfect strategy before entering the battle ground, the right skills and equipment, staunch allies and an incredible amount of concentration to stay focused on the prize. Oh, yeah—this is a role playing game (RPG) waiting to happen.
Think about it—instead of setting this RPG in a fantastic magical land, we’d set it in a typical heartland mall. Elves and trolls as characters? Don’t think so. We would have the small and stout auntie with her shopping bag and the skinny ah lien who can squeeze through any crowd at your command.
With World of Warcraft and Diablo II being two of the most popular games in the world, we figure that this RPG focusing on one of Singapore’s favorite pastimes really is a no-brainer.
Need For Speed Limits
Sure, speed demons love going nuts on virtual race tracks with games like Gotham Racing and Need for Speed. But it takes real skill to try and keep your cool on Singaporean highways.
In this game, you would have to maneuver your way around vehicles that have stopped on the CTE during rush hour to gawk at an accident, while still managing to get the license plate number to buy 4D later on. Get around the moron who’s doing 60km/h in the fast lane when you’re already late for work. And the most challenging of all—snag a tight parking spot in a multi-story car park while not holding up five other vehicles waiting behind you! And as much as cool drum ’n’ bass music was a part of Need for Speed, annoying morning DJs would be integral to this game for added realism.
If, by some miracle, this game actually gets made, we even foresee quite a bit of potential for using it during training in driving schools.
Fifa Pai Kia
Take the football fun of the Fifa games from EA Sports, throw in some of the no-holds-barred action from fighting games like Street Fighter II, add in a healthy dose of Hokkien swear words and you’ve got a game that’s, well, actually a lot like playing soccer with a group of ah bengs.
Form your own customizable team of rowdy ruffians (complete with a kaleidoscope of gaudy hair colors and a selection of the stupidest outfits around) and enter them into a league against rival gangs to see who gets control of the neighborhood.
Scoring goals is only part of the challenge. Instead of just dodging tackles and slides, you have to avoid outright pushes and even eye contact. And after actually getting the ball in the back of the net, you’d still have to have a “one to one” confrontation with members of the opposite team, where you have the option to either calmly defuse the situation or “hoot” him back and get ready to rumble.
We’d even make it more appealing to the bengs themselves—by throwing in a score of techno and Canto music.
We’re not being cocky here, but you know that these would kick all sorts of ass if they were actually made. Game developers pay attention! Singaporeans are starved for some virtual entertainment with a bit more Singlish in them, so if you’re racking your brains looking for inspiration for the next gaming hit, just take a drive through our streets and a walk through our heartlands. There’re all sorts of weird and interesting characters and situations just waiting to get the video game treatment.