The Novelist—a New Take on the Game of Life?

For the most part, I am not a gamer. Okay, for almost any part, I’m not a gamer. I’m married to one. I have friends who are addicted to one game or another (or several all at once). But it’s never really called me. Once the Atari went the way of the T-Rex, I kind of lost all interest.

But when I saw an article (or three) about this game, The Novelist, I was intrigued. I’m trying to be a novelist after all, so this seemed to hold potential. So, I watched this trailer and…kind of lost all interest.

First of all, I’ve read too many VIDA statistics about how the deck is stacked in favor of male writers not to be a little disappointed that the game’s creators chose a male writer. Although given the male-dominated world of gaming (or at least the perception by men that it’s their world and not ours), I guess it’s not all that surprising.

To make this game even more difficult to want to play, The Novelist and his artist wife seem to be spending the summer in a giant house by the water during which time neither of them have to work in a way that, well, earns money. But they struggle! You have to help them navigate their struggles to juggle work and home life. I’m not saying that being a full-time artist doesn’t come with it’s own time-management problems. I’m just saying that two parents with this kind of money aren’t struggling in the same ways that the vast majority of writers and other artists are.

Even aside from this, the idea of spending any of my free time (or $14.99!) on a game that’s all about the difficulties of juggling work and parenting seems…like life not entertainment.

Sure, this isn’t supposed to be real life—it’s a game, after all. But I want some fun and escapism in my down time. And a game about a writer struggling to write and take care of his kid sounds a little too much like art poorly imitating art (some of us have to work, too, after all!) for me to take the plunge on this one. But if you do, let me know what you think.