Author’s Note: The following story is a work of fiction. If you’re a G/O Media executive reading this, bear in mind there is no reality on which this is based. Tercius has never once played a video game during work hours. [Editor: Can confirm.]
I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons nonstop since it was released. And yes, that includes work hours. Every chance I get, I hop on, do some fishing, harvest fruits, and sell ‘em to Timmy and Tommy Nook.
Look—I’ve accumulated a lot of digital debt to build up my island’s infrastructure. (Bridges are expensive.) So I can’t afford to waste precious hours in this horrible reality.
Of course, you can play with your Nintendo Switch handheld like Rambo. But if you’re not careful you might take too long to respond to an email and your micro-managing boss may start to suspect something. So, I recommend using a capture card like this one from Elgato.
If you go this route, you can quickly alternate your attention between responding to Slack messages and digging up fossils. Since both the game and your work are on the same screen, you can fake productivity while working at home without anyone being any the wiser.
Here’s how it works: You open up your PC, attach the capture card via a free PCIE port, and connect your Switch to your PC. Once that’s taken care of, you can use live-streaming software, like OBS Studio, to start gaming. (For a more details on setting up, I’d point you towards the “Hardware recording” section of this guide from Gizmodo.)
Owning a desktop definitely has its advantages here, the most notable being the expansive screen real estate of a monitor. I, for one, have a dual-monitor setup with OBS Studio, Slack, iTunes, and a Chrome browser open at the same time. (It’s certainly possible with a laptop but it’ll just be a little tight.)
You can use your Joy-Con, but I like using the Pro Controller for maximum comfort. I, for one, also like streaming Parks and Recreation because it just feels right.
There’s no denying it ... we’re living in unbelievably troubled times. It’s simply unreasonable to expect the same level of productivity from yourself while you WFH. Here’s my advice: Find the wiggle room and take the breaks you deserve. And, of course, decorate the shit out of your second bedroom.
You deserve it.