We all hate our jobs. Even those of us with cushy gigs like, say, writing dumb lists on the Internet, have reasons to complain about our J-O-Bs. Thankfully, video games are here to save the day-they take the mundane jobs that you and I are forced to do day in and day out and turn them into something awesome. If our jobs were anything like these, we'd probably work for free! Well, actually, no, we still wouldn't.
7- Food Service Industry
We pity people who work in the food service industry. They work long grueling hours and often wait on whiny, demanding bastards who think that just because they're paying for a meal, it entitles them to act like they're royalty. And then there are the hardworking parents who struggle night in and night out to provide a home-cooked meal for their lousy kids who won't just sit quietly and eat their damn vegetables.
It's too bad that working in the real food service industry isn't as awesome as it is in video games. Games like BurgerTime and Cooking Mama make preparing meals and serving it to others seem like fun. Standing in front of a hot griddle while you flip patties sucks; making giant hamburgers by stepping on the ingredients while avoiding contact with mutant food products, on the other hand, does not. And consider this: if you're a real chef and you mess up an order, you get an angry customer or a jerk of a lead chef yelling at you. But mess up an order in a video game and all you get is a cute cartoon cook offering you some light-hearted encouragement. If only Gordon Ramsay were so understanding.
The paperboy is dead; long live the paperboy. What used to be an American institution has now gone the way of the dodo-these days, papers are delivered by shadowy men in cars, which is sort of creepy. Even though it's a long forgotten occupation, the paperboy had it tough: you had to wake up at the crack of dawn then haul ass on your bicycle around the neighborhood with a heavy sack of newspapers slung around your shoulder. And why did you do this? So you could earn a measly few bucks for that fancy baseball mitt or wooden airplane or whatever it was people played with back then?
Video game paperboys don't have it any easier: you get chased by angry dogs, killer lawn mowers, swarms of bees and even Death himself. But video game paperboys did have a few benefits that made the job all worthwhile. There was the sweet obstacle course at the end of the block, the fact that the newspaper was dedicated to putting you on the front page every day, and last but not least, you could break the windows of anyone who canceled their subscription without recourse. Throw a newspaper through a former client's window in the real world and you'd probably get fired; do it in a video game and you got bonus points.
Being a doctor has a lot of perks. You can make a lot of money if you play your cards right and relatively speaking, it's a pretty revered occupation. Sure, it can be mentally grueling and the road to becoming a doctor isn't exactly easy but if you play your cards right, you can make a good living as a doctor. Oh, wait: there is that whole life and death thing and the malpractice suits and the fact that you have to deal with stuff like blood, urine and feces on a regular basis, isn't there? Okay, maybe being a doctor isn't so easy after all.
Too bad it can't be like in video games: you can operate on your patients in a sanitized environment-no muss, no fuss-and in the unfortunate instance that you lose a patient, you can hit reset and try again. And instead of wasting time running tests and diagnosing symptoms, video game doctors can just throw a bunch of color-coded pills at the problem and make it go away. We admit that being a doctor in a video game won't get you rich and your parents aren't going to brag to their friends about how good you are a Trauma Center but it beats spending your day collecting other people's urine in little plastic containers, doesn't it?
Photogs like Dead Rising's Frank West and Disaster Report's Keith Helm embody what every photojournalist wants to be; in the thick of the action, kicking some ass (objectivity be damned), and taking the controversial shot that blows a worldwide conspiracy wide open. Sure, some war photojournalists get to take some pretty gripping shots, but most are stuck taking pictures of blue-haired elderly ladies complaining at town hall meetings or sleeping in their car waiting for Britney Spears to leave her house and (hopefully) leave her baby on the roof of the car as she drives off to Starbucks.
3- Taxi Drivers
Here's another group of hardworking and underappreciated people: taxi drivers. Where would we be without taxi drivers? Okay, there are some bad cabbies out there who try to cheat you by taking the long way there and who sometimes yak on their cell phones the entire ride out but for the most part, taxi drivers are an essential part of city life.
But being a cabbie in real life sucks. You're trapped in your car all day, you have to fight traffic on a regular basis and if you get in one minor fender-bender, you run the risk of having your fare sue you for "whiplash." Video game cabbies have it much easier. Sure, you're still driving around in your car all day but the upside is that you can drive like a maniac and actually be rewarded for it. Forget about safety: drive on the other side of the road and hit that sweet ramp if you want to-your customers will not only thank you for it, they'll give you a fat tip to boot. Who's got time to obey traffic laws when there's money to be made?
Gaming has always celebrated breaking society's rules to get ahead (Hear that, Mom and Dad?), but the Grand Theft Auto series has taken that to the next level. Ever since GTA III premiered on the PS2, millions of gamers have reveled in the seedy lives of fictional criminals. In GTA, you can run over dozens of innocents with a stolen firetruck, wait for the cops to arrive, and then mow them down with a chaingun, give the fuzz the slip by visiting a nearby paint shop, visit a prostitute who actually makes you healthier, and then bash her brains in to recoup your cash. If you get caught, it's a night in the slammer and a couple hundred bucks out of your multimillion dollar bank account. In real life, you're selling bootleg DVDs on street corners and running a dozen pyramid schemes a week just to make ends meet. And if you so much as cough around a cop, you'll probably be Roscoe's bitch for a good 5 to 7 years.
Real life plumbing is about the worst job you can have. You're stuck in others people's bathrooms all day. And not the clean and fancy bathrooms you see on Cribs. We're talking the nastiest ones possible. When you're in there you don't even get to partake in the relaxing bowel release that usually accompanies a bathroom visit. Instead, in a cruel twist of fate, you're performing the very tense action of sticking your hands and arms in areas that have been visited (or may currently be occupied) by human waste. Video game plumbers get transported to a fantasy world where they can grow to twice their size, shoot fireballs, ride dinosaurs, collect coins, and save beautiful princesses from utterly incompetent enemies. Which job would you rather have?
OMGLists Editor Dave Rudden contributed to this article.