A Parent’s Life as a Video Game

I work in the video game industry, so I tend to think of life in these terms. For example, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I realized that pregnancy is essentially a really immersive resource-conservation RPG. I was always asking myself questions like: “Do I pick up this stuff on the floor, or do I save my Bending Over points for later?”

Recently several of my coworkers became parents, so in celebration of my fecund and nerdy cohort, here’s a description of my last week written entirely in video game terms:

Select character

  •   Warrior (Battle baroque parental leave laws)
  •  Wizard sprite Wizard (Create nutritious meals for baby using own body)
  • Rogue sprite Rogue (Sneak around to accomplish things while the baby sleeps)
  •   Paladin (The power of the Coffee God will protect your party)

New player tutorial

Read Kid Wrangling by Kaz Cooke, SuperBaby by Jenn Berman, and The Cat in the Hat over and over and over and over.


Find outfits for upcoming family photo. Avoid decade-indicating fashion or hairstyles.

Parental achievement unlocked!

Raffi song stuck in head for more than four days.


How long can you deflect drool from your work clothes? GO!

Level up!

Child can now turn pages of a book. Good work!

Save game

Improve your long-term memory by adding minutes of sleep during train commute


Enter “Up up down down left right start” in the deductions section of your tax form

2 Replies to “A Parent’s Life as a Video Game”

  1. Erica,
    I think you should also get bonus XP every time you catch yourself saying something or doing something that you said you never would. For example “I will never pick up my baby’s pacifier off the shopping mall floor without disinfecting it” or “I will never drive a minivan” or “I will never change a diaper in the front seat of the car in the Wal-mart parking lot”.

  2. It gets better – at level two you get to gain the ability ‘Sleep Through The Night’. It starts with a 72 hour cooldown, but as you continue to level, the cooldown shrinks in 24 hour increments per level.

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