I play a lot of video games. Seriously, I'm constantly playing something at any given moment. And most of that time, that takes a toll on me. I spent most of my academic career analyzing video games the same way one would analyze a film, novel, or television show. That being said, my mind is always on when I'm playing games that have a heavier narrative than other ones.
So, my friends and I -- and by friends I mean the pets I had at the time (two cats, a hamster) -- came up with the nifty little term that you can see in the title above.
A palate cleanser game is defined as a game you play to take a break between the "heavier" or "more serious" games.
Just found Shaun in Fallout 4 and you don't know how to deal with it? Play a palate cleanser game. Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and maybe the violence is getting to you? Palate cleanser game. Oh, you're playing the Telltale Walking Dead games for the first time and you just finished an episode? PALATE CLEANSER GAME, IMMEDIATELY.
I have a couple of these games on deck for occasions like the ones above. If you couldn't tell already, the first game on this list is The Sims 3: Pets. I like the Pets version of this game because there's nothing better in this world than virtual beagles (aside from real beagles). And sometimes after playing Bioshock Infinite, I'd need to pop that guy out and make fake pancakes for my fake family in order to deal with all the violence and multiple universe things that went on in that game.
My next palate cleanser game is NBA2K, right now I'm obviously playing the latest version of the game. And the reason NBA2K (or any sports game) is a great palate cleanser is because you don't really need to pay attention to it. I mean, like, at all. I usually play this game with the volume down low while I'm on Tinder or OKCupid looking for Hot Toddy's to drink up or I'm listening to a podcast. But I'm usually doing the former thing rather than the latter thing. I find that a super hot Hot Toddy is more motivating to my virtual basketball career than an insightful episode of This American Life.
The last game on this list is probably one of my favorite indie games that I've played on PS4. Hohokum is a game that, I think, is about losing all your friends but you have to go and find them all again. But really, the game is about moving around a little squiggly guy and listening to cool music and exploring. I tend to play this game when I don't really want to think about anything at all.
Like, after a long day of work and the realization that I could have been so many things in my life but instead I chose this. A life that I hardly ever live, a life that I simply exist in. The world isn't my oyster by any means. I just happen to be trapped in it and I am waiting impatiently for it all to end. So, I find myself in the darkest of places with the darkest of thoughts and think,
Man, I got to stop thinking like this and be a little squiggly guy while I look for a Hot Toddy to drink up while I listen to cool music.
Anyway, do you guys have any Palate Cleanser games? Hash it out in the comments or let me know in your own card! If you make your own card it'll enter you in a contest to win a convertible!*
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*That's not true. There is no car contest here. Just make a card and be rewarded with love and praise from me, the droid.