Playing the vet is only a mouse-click away with Ubisoft's Petz Vet
I’m still waiting to see if they send me a free copy. $24.99 sounds like a lot of money for a game that simulates what I do every day for real. Yet I’m almost intrigued enough to type out my Visa card’s number in my [nearly completed] online form at Macgamestore.com (only a Firefox tab away as I write).
Just last month I blogged about vets being more pop-culture worthy than other professionals—in spite of our poor showing on prime-time TV. I said I’d even consider buying a television if someone developed a show worth watching. But now that Ubisoft’s produced one of those hyper-real, high-def games about us vets, I’m still not so sure I want to invest.
In spite of its great ratings and slick look (you can check out the waiting room and an iguana patient on the Macgamestore site), I worry that I might get sucked in. After all, that’s why I don’t have a TV to begin with—it’s like M&Ms (one is never enough and any more are too many). It would certainly stress me to find I like playing a game more than I enjoy going to work.
In this game, players are supposedly ranked by their ability to render quality care, but I’m not so sure that’s quite possible. It’s hard enough to assess a doctor’s skill in real life—and I seriously doubt any game can discern a quack from a doc.
Still, I want to know how vets are portrayed in virtual life. Are we mere diagnosticians or are we also graded on our creative approaches to patient care? How much medical knowledge must one have in order to score well? Does it matter how the player acts with the pets, as in real life? If you get bitten do you go to the human-doc virtual hospital? Do you lose points? If you give your services away out of extreme [and potentially misplaced] kindness, do you get more points—or less? Are players judged on income or on outcome alone?
Maybe one of you Mac-lovers out there can buy it and review it for me. (It’s still not out for the PC crowd.) Perhaps Ubisoft will read this semi-earnest plea and consider sending me one—gratis. Because they should know—vets who love their work are their best allies…and, potentially, their worst critics.
I’m still waiting for that TV show. But in lieu of TV, I’m willing to consider helping Ubisoft on its 2.0 version. (Just call me, guys, OK?)