Line Simulator is a thing, and yes, it actually simulates standing in line


Stracos Ltd.

The great Canadian indie singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has one song so popular that he is basically obligated to perform it at every show he plays. The song is called “Robots”, and it inevitably leads to an all-hands-on-deck sing-along, with everyone in the room belting out the refrain of “Robots need love too/They want to be loved by you.”

“Robots” contains a somewhat lesser-known couplet, however. A world-weary-sounding Mangan sings “And I spent half of my life/In the customer service line.” Mangan does a fairly convincing job of making that sound like no fun at all. As such, he’s probably not going to be queueing up to be among the first to play Line Simulator.

A nail-biting queueing experience

So, what exactly is Line Simulator? Let’s let the game’s developer, Stracos, explain:

Line Simulator is a Virtual Reality Simulation game designed for the Oculus VR system. Why might you want to pay to wait in virtual lines, you might ask? Because these lines deliver a nail-biting queuing experience filled with angsty line-goers of varying sanity levels. What happens when you look at someone the wrong way? Will you fall asleep in our lengthy lines and lose your spot?

That’s right! The risk that you might fall asleep while playing is not a flaw but one of the compelling features of Line Simulator. PUBG Mobile this ain’t, folks.

We get it, though. Line Simulator is meant to capture that feeling of being out in the world, surrounded by strangers. No social distancing. No face masks. And, most importantly, no COVID-19. It’s a game that allows players to revisit a daily existence made up of the mundane experiences we once took for granted. Like standing in line at a store, waiting to buy a scratch-and-win ticket.

A caveat: even if you get a winning ticket in the game, you don’t win anything. Hey, this is is virtual reality we’re talking about, not actual reality.

Line Simulator is slated for a November 20 release on Steam. In the meantime, those eager to get waiting can download a demo version.

Get ready for a challenge, though. Because as another great singer-songwriter observed, the waiting is the hardest part.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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