Games give players the feeling that their labor is valuable, that their contributions to the world are important and meaningful. This feeling doesn’t happen very often in real-life work, where most of the time you’re more of a non-playable character than a protagonist.Bijan Stephen (2021). Side Quest
A protagonist has agency in their own life. Employment, at least in America, is designed to take away agency; the lack of a social safety net and a robust welfare state mean you are always one catastrophe away from losing whatever you’ve worked to build, which makes work far more important than it should be. In America, your job is your identity, your lifeline, and your purpose—unless you’re part of this country’s ruling class, in which case your work is immaterial. If labor were valued more highly, life might look a little more like a game. One that any player might win.