It's important to learn other skills. Whatever your current employment, you really don't want to get stuck in a rut. To that end, I started to wonder--what would it be like to do some work experience placements and internships in video game worlds? Most video game characters don't do real jobs, but they do put in some real graft on a daily basis. Surely they'd welcome an unpaid intern to learn the tricks of their trade and do a little busywork along the way.
This week, my virtual work experience takes me around the globe. First off, I shipped off inside a small steel tube to some godforsaken arctic wasteland and met up with my first tutor, a man who went by the unlikely name of Solid Snake...
Day One: Espionage with Solid Snake
"So I get in this box, then?"
"Sorry," I whispered. "So I get in this box?"
"Yes," hissed Solid Snake. "Then guards can't see you. Or, more accurately, they can see a box, which isn't you. You see, the most important thing about espionage missions like this is to make sure that you're effectively camouflaged to blend in with your environment. The word camouflage is an interesting one, actually, stemming from French origins but surviving to the rest of the world largely unchanged or..."
"Gonna cut you off there, Snake," I said, trying to avoid another long conversation about a topic only tangentially related to the task at hand. At least when he did it on his codec I could zone out and read a book--I'd spent about an hour and half already today sitting quietly while he discussed monster movies and the peculiarities of local wildlife with his mates on the phone--but having him stare directly at me while he spoke, expecting me to nod at the appropriate times, was exhausting.
I pulled the box over my head as Snake snuggled down within his own.
"What sort of things do you do as a spy, then, Snake? On a day-to-day basis?"
"Mostly I sneak around corridors and strangle men to death then get stuck in intractable fights against named characters with unusual fighting styles."
"Oh, like that one with the bees? Or the hovering mystic? Or the wheelchair sniper?"
"Those are just some of the many foes I have faced."
"Snake," I said, shuffling a little closer to him as a guard walked past. "I don't mean this the wrong way, but I think you might have had too much diazepam."
"Yeah, you know. The pills you take. All the time. I think they might be affecting your mind.î"
"Oh, those. They help me with sniping."
"Do they, though?"
"Seriously," said Snake, "I feel great. I feel really... calm. Now, listen, a very important part of espionage is, is..." He paused, searching for the words.
"Is it having another nap in your box?" I ventured.
"You'll make a great infiltrator someday," said Snake, drifting off to sleep.
Click on for Day two: Combat training with Marcus Fenix...