With summer vacation upon us my teenage sons want to get summer jobs. Kudos to them. I certainly could use a tourniquet to reduce the hemorrhage of our anemic family finances.
But if my children plan to jump into the wide world of paychecks I’d rather they do something they love to earn money, which is why I suggested they use their idle summer hours to invent new online social games.
Online social games have suddenly boomed bigger than any type of previous entertainment, even if you include reality TV and last year’s obsession with sexy teen vampires on the big screen. Our unexpected appetites for games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, World of Warcraft, and Words With Friends have revealed that we all secretly want to interact with others (something TV and movies won’t let us do), but we don’t want to have to get out of our La-Z-Boy recliners to do it.
But can the gaming industry keep up with our demand for creative, yet low impact, fun? Given the public is about as fickle as an iPhone in the middle of the Mohave Desert I just know gaming companies have to continually come up with new concepts or risk being left at the altar.
That’s where my boys and I come in. I have dazzling gaming ideas, if my offspring would only program them for me (which they are more than capable of doing). But they’d better get a wiggle on because it’s only a matter of time before some Seattle start-up develops one of the following gems and runs with it faster than Lebron James on a caffeine bender. (And when that happens, remember you heard it here first!)
So here we go with Stacy’s list of as-yet-to-be-invented online social games:
- Are You Smarter Than a Vice President?
- Missionary Impossible
From John Quincy Adams to Joe Biden, match wits with any U.S. Vice President, living or dead, by answering simple questions like “How do you spell ‘potato’?” An artificial intelligence database of each Vice President’s likely response to any given question is available to everyone who logs in, so even if you’re asked something obscure like “How many attempts does it take to shoot your friend in the face on a hunting trip?” you can be sure you get an answer that’s based on a VP’s actual experience.
There’s even a preschool version for younger kids, which starts out with age appropriate questions like “How many letters in the word ‘JOBS?’” (Three, according to Joe Biden, but your four-year-old may know better.)
Players with the lowest scores will be put in a pool for VP consideration in the 2016 presidential election.
With everything going on in the world today it’s obvious that eternal salvation (or damnation) has lost its zing, which means humankind is ripe for a new religion. So why don’t you be the one to give it to them?
In Missionary Impossible you create your own cult religion and entice people to join. How? With Pavlov-type incentives, of course. By doing uncommonly good deeds (for example, convincing talk radio pundits to make their points in 10 minutes or less) players receive afterlife rewards such as free satellite TV for eternity, a blue ray player on the insides of their eyelids so they can watch their favorite movies at any time, and the ability to eat a deep-fried Twinkie without one’s cholesterol shooting up to a number that resembles Babe Ruth’s lifetime batting average.
For really good behavior (i.e. ridding the world of racial, as well as lactose, intolerance) players earn gold coins, which they can then use to purchase plenary indulgences. That way a player can still buy his way into Heaven, even if he’s mortally sinned. It’s kind of like getting into the Senate.
For half price the middle-class can go to Purgatory first, where they’ll be forced to volunteer in a leper colony for six months, but receive no free health care if they get sick as a result. Group discounts apply for polygamists.
Every five seconds a crime is committed somewhere in the world. In Tattlesnake players videotape as many illicit acts as possible and then submit their videos to a YouTube-like website where the common folk vote for their favorite crime. Wanna-be Michael Moores compete to see who can document the crime of the week, for which they win valuable prizes, like an all expense paid trip to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office or dinner with a Grand Jury.
Bonus points are awarded if you happen to catch The Mob doing something nasty, but be careful they don’t find out you’re a snitch. Your entrance into the Witness Protection Program is based solely on your ability to collect as many “confessions” on camera as possible to unsolved crimes.
Reward money may apply (after you’ve been cleared of any wrong-doing), however, people who stage or commit actual crimes just to get on the Internet will be prosecuted, but only AFTER it’s been determined if they’re eligible for a Webbie Award.
Up Next in Part 2…
- Scrapbook Rehab
- Ho Hum
- Wheel of Misfortune
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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.