Thursday, December 12, 2013

Granagotchi is the saddest virtual pet game you'll ever play

Apropo of our current single-digit Chicago weather, here's a challenging, albeit sad little virtual pet style game about trying to take care of elderly woman during the bitterly cold days of winter. It's called Granagotchi, after those ever-popular Tamagotchi toys your may remember from your youth. The game only take a few minutes to play, but those few minutes that might make you think about who you know this winter who might be feeling isolated and need a little help.

I wouldn't call the mechanics of Granagotchi very deep (I'd love to see an expanded version some day!), but the premise puts players in a fairly unique situation of trying to combat a passive evil, like neglect, rather than making us face a more clearly defined and clearly conquerable enemy like a super-villain.

And despite the fairly shallow gameplay, I found that this simple game affected me emotionally more than 99% of the human interest stories I see on the evening news. Maybe it's because Gran is ultimately so helpless despite all your best efforts to aid her. Or maybe because Gran's family never answers the phone or calls her back.

It's funny how such simple games can remind you of the little things we all tend to forget in the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives, like who might really like to get a phone call from us, or who we might know who could use a little help but can't or won't ask for it. Anyway, give Granagotchi a try. And if your own grandma has been calling a lot lately, pick up the phone and call her back!

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