All this week, the writers of Christ and Pop Culture unveil their 25 most loved things of  2013. 

Previous #23: Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

#22: Cart Life (PC)

I was too slow serving customers, I gave people incorrect change, and I didn’t accurately calculate how long it would take me to get downtown for a court hearing in which my character was to argue for joint custody of her daughter. The list of things I did wrong in Cart Life is longer than what I did right. In that sense, Cart Life is one of the most realistic games I have played. It sets before the player the difficult nature of work and the inevitability of failure. And yet, by giving me down to earth characters who I really wanted to see succeed in whatever small ways possible, Cart Life turned out to be a surprisingly hopeful game.

While the initial learning curve is high and the game refuses to hold players’ hands through the initial stages, I found myself continually striving to be better at the game. I wanted to improve not because doing so would make me feel better about myself, but because I wanted to make a better life for the game’s characters. Cart Life is honest about how difficult life can be and stunningly hopeful as it gives players a reason to persevere.

Next #21: The Mindy Project