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Watch: Are you the introvert at every party? This video game for avoiding people is just for you

Instead, you get to pet cuddly dogs and win points.


Introverts unite. You no longer have to dread parties where too many people are in your face making small talk. A new video game, designed by Will Herring, will rescue you.

“Pet the Pup at the Party” is made specifically for those who suffer from social anxiety. The objective of the video game is to pet as many dogs as you can find in two minutes, while you ignore and avoid conversation with others at a party. It’s really just as easy as it sounds, and it’s available free (or pay what you want).

The entire game runs in first-person perspective, and it takes you through door after door of party-goers socialising, nibbling pizza, smoking and drinking, or just staring at you. Each dog you find gives you extra time, and you can unlock upto 52 in the “good dog gallery”.

At the end of the game, you get a tally of how you did, with an epilogue of what you did after you went home. For example. “You pet 2 pups, explored 17 rooms, and talked to 2 people at the party! Then you went home and looked at funny cat pictures on the internet (heck yeah)” or “Then you went home and read internet conspiracy theories until you fell asleep” or “listened to 20 episodes of your favourite podcast.” Now that sounds like a real party.

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When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.