A couple of days I go I read a review of Street Cleaning Simulator. This might sound like the definition of slowly getting bored to death for most of you, but for some reason I find this kind of games surprisingly appealing. I’ve spent countless hours flying virtual passengers around the globe, hauling virtual cargo through the great Australian outback and mining tons upon tons of very virtual ore in outer space.

I’m suspecting that it’s the non-challenge about it all that I like. After a long week of facing challenge after challenge at work, it’s great to kick back and do something that doesn’t require any brain activity whatsoever. So, inspired by the Street Cleaning Simulator review, I decided to try out another game by the same publisher; Garbage Truck Simulator 20111).

Ah, the garbage truck. Without it, we would be knee deep in our own filth in no-time, just ask the citizens of Naples. So we can safely say that driving a garbage truck is one of the cornerstone professions of any modern society. Acing the simulator would probably give me enough experience to have another job to fall back to should my current career crumble for whatever reason. I downloaded the Garbage Truck Simulation, installed it and started the game. It took a least three minutes to load and there was no indication that anything was happening. Things started to look grim, and when a message telling me about a missing DLL, I was pretty sure my days as a garbage truck driver had ended even before I had the chance to start.

But the game miraculously started, even without the DLL file present. My joy was short lived, however, as everything crashed with the message “Invalid pointer or handle in” when trying to create a in-game profile. I set off on a quest on the interwebs to find the missing DLL file, but even if the error message about the DLL file was now gone, the game still crashed miserably during profile creation. I should probably mention that I’m on Windows 7 x64, this might have contributed to the problems.

But a broken simulation is just a minor setback for someone who once flew a virtual Boing 737-400 from Oslo to Copenhagen in real time only to accidentally crash it into the ground 100 meters (328.1 feet) from the runway. There are plenty of weird simulators out there to pick and chose from and German Astragon seems to be the most dedicated of the publishers. What about a quarry simulator? Hell, yeah! Unfortunately, Astragon’s games are available in German only (English language versions might be available somewhere) and only a few of them have demo versions. But the Gabelstapler (forklift) Simulator 2009 had, so I decided to download that. Forklifting is, like driving a garbage truck, essential to modern society. What would happen if boxes and parcels were just randomly thrown into trucks and freight trains? Chaos!

After installation I started the game and everything went smooth until the everything froze up when the name of the game’s developer was displayed. They’d chosen the very fitting name “Still” for their game company. At this point I have to admit that I was getting a little annoyed. Everything was turning into a challenge to get any simulator to work on my computer, not to play the simulator itself. As a third and final attempt, I downloaded Bagger (excavator) Simulator 2011, hoping that it would not be plagued by the same kind of bugs as the other simulators.

And believe it or not, this game actually started without any error messages and didn’t crash within the first ten seconds. How everything went from there, I think I’ll save for another incoherent, rambling entry. It’s getting late and I’m being told it’s time to go to bed.

1) Fredrik, you can safely skip reading this entry.