Don't tell your boss we said to play video games

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is on everyone's mind now that so many of us are working from home. If you can't venture too far from your computer during tax season, playing an online game or two might be the easiest way to take a break.

Due to current events, a flash game from 2008 called Pandemic 2 has been making headlines again.1 The popularity of the disease-themed game has increased 3,500% over the previous two months, according to the CEO of the website hosting the game.

If you'd like your break time to be little more fun and a little less "real life," here are a few other games to consider:

Monopoly: This online version of the classic board game forces you to play by the real rules. That's right, you don't win any money by landing on Free Parking, and if you can't afford to buy a property it goes up for auction where all players can bid. This makes gameplay much faster than what many people are used to, and as an added bonus your computer opponents will never rage quit and flip over the board halfway through the game.

Lemonade Stand: When life gives you lemons…open a virtual lemonade stand and practice your business skills. This version of the classic game is hosted by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and includes three difficulty levels, price and weather variables, and profit and loss graphs. Who says fun can't be work?

Penguin Baseball: Major League Baseball has delayed Opening Day until at least mid-May (maybe?). In the meantime, what's better than Penguin Baseball? After a few minutes of "research" while writing this article, I managed a high score of only 291.4. That's not home-run distance in any MLB ballpark, so America's Pastime is safe for now.

Zombie Accountant: This is perhaps the only (and therefore, the best) apocalypse-themed accountancy game in existence. Too bad it was released 10 years ago and there probably isn't anyone who still has a Windows Phone to play it on. At least the trailer is fun to watch.


Prankster's paradise

Stay alert, Tribune readers, because it's that time of year: April Fools' Day is upon us.

The exact origins of April Fools' Day are a mystery, but historians think it started in France in 1582 when the beginning of the year was switched to January 1 with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.1 People who were slow to pick up on the change were teased when they celebrated the new year on the old date: April 1.

If you're looking for some good, clean fun for this year, here are some ideas from Good Housekeeping that won't get you in too much trouble.

For those who want some more mischievous ideas, a friend of my family was a notorious prankster; here are some actual pranks he played on friends and family over the years:

  • Replacing his wife's conditioner with mayonnaise;
  • Carefully opening his wife's tea bags and replacing the tea leaves with coffee grounds; and
  • Leaving a note for a co-worker to return an important missed call from a Mr. Baer (the number was an internal line for the Detroit Zoo).


A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Austin LewisAustin Lewis loves classic rock, despite being born a few decades late, and he goes to more concerts than anyone else in the office. Here he is in Toronto a few years ago, recreating the cover photo from one of his favorite Rush albums.

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, is obsessed with true crime documentaries and photography. On weekends, you can find her around Wilmington photographing the refineries and eating at The Chowder Barge.

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