May 20, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Today’s project is coming to you at the speed of life. Real life. At least the life of thousands (tens of thousands? Hundreds?) of people looking for work. The economy, I’m told, is tough these days. The class of 2012 was not the first and will almost certainly not be the last to face a tireless (though at times tiresome) search for gainful employment. Charles DeYoe, however, has turned his journey for a job into something that will not only keep him sustained financially for a while, but psychologically, too.
Unemployment Quest is not your typical video game. Rather than crafting a mock universe in which we can escape reality, DeYoe is building a world not so unlike the one he’s lived in since graduating. Embarked on an epic quest for a stable job, battling uncertainty, doubt, water bills and nagging friends and relatives, Unemployment Quest is trying to put a new spin (and maybe a smile) on an old tale that too many have grown to know.
As I was playing an old RPG, I realized that there don’t seem to be any games that really speak to my demographic. This game is an attempt to create something which can speak to the player’s real-world experience, beyond focusing on high-fantasy. The story is minimalistic as the game is not about an epic adventure so much as trying to reach a very simple goal.
A simple goal, perhaps, but too often an elusive one. I believe that a good job, like almost all good things, is worth searching hard for – it’s worth breaking a little sweat, battling a few monsters, traveling to new places and taking risks. It’s a quest, and one that I think will resonate in a way that Zelda might not. (I’ve personally never had to battle a giant, one-eyed arachnid with a slingshot.) The deadline for this project is closing in fast (T-minus 14 minutes), and while it’s based on a true story that’s been unfolding for years (and not just for DeYoe), it’s really just the beginning. Check it out.