My friends are pregnant. Everyone’s having babies. Most of those traitors even own their own homes. I don’t know which organs they had to sell but somehow they bought homes in this economy. And then what did they do when they moved into their lovely two bedroom in El Serreno? They started crankin’ out some dang kids. I don’t have kids, or a house. But you know what I do have? I have killed gods. I have conquered the stars and discovered strange new worlds. I have been to the future and the past and also had sex with an elf. I am not a parent. I am a gamer. 

Workers around the world, we need to rise up. Now is the time to take a stand against tyranny. If you’ve been waiting for a clarion call to shake you from your complacency: toot m-f-in’ toot. New parents get to take time off of work when they perpetuate the species. Oh “we’ve got a new baby, we need time to take care of it.” You know what I need time for? The new AAA games being developed with Unreal Engine 5. Seems to me that each human has the right to decide what in this brutal wilderness of a life is important to them. For me? That’s gaming, honey pie. So we, as the workers of the world, as the workers of The United States, need to join hands and announce as one that we demand a couple days here and there when a highly anticipated release comes out. Maybe a week or so when the next Elder Scrolls drops. We should also demand wages at a pace with inflation and actual health care when we’re working 30 plus hours a week for a company but hey, one step at a time. 

Yes we are being crushed under the overpriced boot of capitalism. But also I love my sweet, sweet amenities. I love going to a big giant mall and buying whatever I want can afford. Isn’t there some way the big bellied barons that control all of the world’s wealth and the common worker can join hands and gently kiss each other on the lips in harmony and peace? Can’t we have an over-the-top holiday season and paid leave for when (god willing) Witcher 4 comes out? We can. And it starts with Gamer’s Leave. Social Democracy is possible, just give daddy a tiny taste of paid days off when the next Assassin’s Creed drops. We, the workers, should be willing to bend over and take just a little bit more, if only we are acknowledged as having valid passions that are just as important, nay, more important, than producing actual human beings. Sure, your little precious Mabels and precocious little Leopolds will become the next generation to inherit the only habitable planet we have. But isn’t my time to slaughter wantonly and take over the realms of elves and orcs and dwarves just as important? By the way, if there are any Creative Assembly devs reading this, when is Immortal Empires coming out? 

What I’m trying to say is that taking Gamer’s Leave will be good for the economy. It’s well documented that giving workers time to rest increases productivity. Picture this: It’s 7:34 AM. I have taken Gamer’s Leave for a new AAA release. I sit down in front of my PlayStation 5 that I got last February only because I paid my buddy Darnell, who knew a scalper, to buy it for me. I will pick up my increasingly grimy, not as nice feeling as the PS4 controller, white PS5 controller. I will boot up my system and play. For hours. For 12, 14, 20 hours I will play. I will laugh, I will cry, I will gasp with delight. Then I will sleep. And the next day, I will return to work with a heart full of song and a head full of ideas to make whatever company I work for at the time some dang money. 

What are we working for anyways? Food? Rent? Yes absolutely. But once those are covered, I will take the $35.99 that I have left in my Chase checking account and I will buy a new game. Oh games cost $70? Well.. uh… ok I’ll buy a discounted game on Steam. Regardless of the game I play, I will be participating in the greatest and newest art form our species has made. Video games are important works of creative expression that will come to be the dominant art form in the next 20 years. AND WE NEED TO TAKE TIME TO APPRECIATE THEM. I long for the day when The Game Awards overshadow The Oscars. Games can be experienced piecemeal, but they are best when you can become ensconced in their mind-bending reality.

While I was playing Red Dead 2, I sometimes cried, because I had been living that story. I hadn’t been checking my phone. I hadn’t been hanging out with friends. I had just been vaping juul pods until my teeth hurt and dealing with moral quandaries in the Old West. When my favorite NPC died, I wept. Biblical, classical weeping. Picture a statue carved from marble caught mid-sob, but with a mango flavored juul dangling from their hand. The piece of Fine Art that is Red Dead Redemption 2 had brought me to tears. It was beautiful. Had I not been immersed, able to play hours and hours of video games each day because of my utter lack of employment at the time, I would not have been able to give my full attention to this modern masterpiece. Also don’t vape, it’s really bad for you. I have since quit and my teeth stopped hurting. 

In summary: the United States of America has the worst leave policies of any mega rich country in the world. We can fix that. Employers, sweet Daddies Zuck & Beezies, I know you’re reading this. We, the workers, beseech you. Give us gamers leave. Give us hope for a better tomorrow.

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