Friday, October 30, 2009

Double the points, double the oppression!

My son the geek says there is an explosion in the numbers of middle aged on-line gamers. Second life has had a lot of publicity and I can see the allure of a virtual world where you can be spectacularly rich or attractive or achieving. What staggers me though is something a colleague told me she is spending 2 to 3 hours a night playing. It's called HK Cafe and here are its Engrish instructions on how to play:
  • Cook the food as people order as quick as possible.
  • If food is not done and being drag out it has to be throw to the rubbish bin and cook again. $50 will be deducted for wastage.
  • Once food is drag on the plate/bowl, you can not move them no more. If you want to change to other combination, throw the whole plate/bowl to rubbish bin and cook again.
  • If people getting angry $100 will be deducted.
Is it just me or does this sound a tad demoralising? Remember the 'politics of housework'? In a 1988 article on the topic in The New Internationalist Debbie Taylor argues that 'women are trained to take care of their loved ones' and that 'domestic labour has become fused in our minds with love' which no-one wants to set a limit on, and that housework is by its very nature a Sisyphaen labour, that a 'woman's work' is literally never done.

If the food in HK cafe 'is not done' off it goes into the garbage and you start again. You don't even get the satisfaction that the family is sated until the next meal time! Once food is on the plate/bowl, 'you can not move them no more' - talk about the washing up from hell! And rubbing your diners up the wrong way costs you $100 so no scope to be a Basil Fawlty here!

Perhaps I am drawing a long bow to equate a simulated hospitality industry game with thankless domestic labour but give me Scrabble and a meal with real people in a real cafe any day!

1 comment:

Senji said...

Oh goodness. Who would want to come home from a long day at work to become a virtual short order chef! The mind boggles ...