the resigned gamer, everything I hate about the thing I love the most

Air Traffic Chaos: keep calm and carry on.

Posted by Sir Cucumber at 8:11 AM on Monday, November 30, 2009

air traffic chaos, expected too much, resigned gamer, nintendo dsno one ever says, "I want to be an air traffic controller" when I grow up...

“Hours and hours of boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of sheer terror” is an attribute applicable to much in our lives, but not a distinction generally sought in video games.

Which is why I doubt Air Traffic Chaos will be sought in many stores this holiday season- much less shelved- and that’s a pity, because it’s the best game I’ve played all year.

Assuming the role of this poor bastard, you must set out upon a quest for a larger paycheck by moving up the ranks of Air Traffic Controllers through five successively busy Japanese airports.

Each level begins uneventfully, giving you time to nurse a cup of coffee and recover from last night’s hangover while walking a few pilots through takeoffs or landings. The process is so mundane and methodical that you soon take to multitasking. What starts with wiping your ass during touchdown soon leads to checking Facebook while forming traffic patterns.

And that’s when everything goes to shit. Because now there’s a guy approaching Runway 34, while another plane is getting pushed back towards Runway 17, two commuter jets have been circling overhead for the last 20 minutes, and this other asshole is griping about when you’ll confirm his route. Scrambling to make people not-mad-at-you, you have him taxi for takeoff on runway 34, and while you’re struggling to remember how you ever chose this miserable career, it all comes to an end.

air traffic chaos, mid air collision, nintendo ds, resigned gamerthose two colorful blobs are planes.

Fortunately the Japanese understand that you can’t always hit the boat on your first try, and the continues are unlimited.

air traffic chaos, geez louise, resigned gamer, nintendo dsGolly, all those people are dead because of you.
You really should be more careful!

With the lives of so many Japanese businessmen in your hands, it’s important to remain vigilant and avoid daydreaming. But one thought I could never stop dwelling upon was how we manage the chaos in our lives by playing chaos-management games.

I’ve reached a point this year where my job has become so onerous that watching “The Office” is no longer funny, but thankfully this cognitive rejection hasn’t applied to Air Traffic Chaos, where the only victory to be had is in preventing any deaths until it’s on someone else’s shift. Where the stakes are astronomical, the odds like Russian roulette, and the reward is getting to spin again. Where failure earns a grade of “C,” and where excellence is rewarded with nothing, save keeping your job to lose another day, though given the level of accountability people are held to around here, I’m not sure exactly what that would take...

air traffic chaos, there's always next time, resigned gamer, nintendo ds