I wrote this article in record time thanks to a gamified focus tool that turned me into my own lofi girl

A girl with long grey hair types away at a laptop on a desk accompanied by a white cat.
(Image credit: Mooncube Games)

Most days I feel like my brain is constantly in overdrive. I struggle to happily exist in silence, everything is vying for my attention, and I have a severe case of Magpie Syndrome that leads me astray down hours-long rabbit holes when I should be focusing on an important task. I've been doing a lot of research into productivity crap lately as a result—how the hell do I become a better, more well-rounded adult who has their shit together? Turns out, maybe it's videogames.

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions launched on Steam earlier this week. It's a productivity tool disguised as a cutesy, cosy videogame that lets me design my very own lofi girl or synthwave boy and plonk them into a snug, customisable bedroom. Oh, and I even get to choose my own wee spirit pet who naps alongside me. Now, does that part actually help me be more productive at all? Not really—in fact, it's actually carved a 30-minute chunk out of my work day, sorry boss—but it sure does look pretty.

I've outfitted virtual Mollie in a cosy hoodie-sweatpants combo and decorated my room with copious fairy lights and polaroids (gotta make it a little like real life somehow), which means I can now set her to go about her day. Maybe I'm taking a nap and want my virtual self to join me by setting her on the bed, or I can have her knitting by the fireplace. For now, I've chucked her at her desk—just like me!—where she's tippy-tapping away at her keyboard—also just like me! Neat.

To top off the cosy lofi vibes, Spirit City even comes with a playlist of curated beats that I can listen to while I have the game open, plus the option to plug in my own music. I've opted for "Uplifting Spirit Infusion" in the hopes that it'll give me the pep I need to do all my work while I'm slowly succumbing to my third cold of the year. I mean, look at all I've written so far! It's gotta be working. 

A girl working at her desk in Spirit City: Lofi Sessions.

(Image credit: Mooncube Games)

Okay, sorry, enough about all the gamey bits. I promise this is actually helping me right now. Spirit City's big productivity tool is a pomodoro timer, which my fellow procrastinators will be all-too-familiar with. It basically breaks up time working into chunks—a period of time spent completely focusing on the task at hand, followed by a short break, for as many intervals as you like before taking a longer break to recharge. It's become an increasingly popular technique, one which I do find success with myself when I remember to actually utilise it.

Spirit City's pomodoro timer is pretty adjustable, so I've set it to three rounds of 20-minute work time followed by five minutes of rest. Along with that are a habit tracker and to-do list. The former lets me check off recurring tasks I'm trying to do throughout the week, which seems like a great way to actually hold my damn self accountable. I'm trying to drink a glass of water before my coffee every morning right now, so I whack that straight on the habit tracker. 

I've got the to-do list on the go for all my work-y bits, like writing this story! Each day I tick something off the list and finish a timer, I get a little bit of experience towards my Spiritographer level. I can use the experience to buy new clothes and decorations for my pad, which means I will inevitably offset a little bit of my productivity in the near future by making things look even prettier than they are now. 

I can even collect new spirit pets down the road by tinkering with different settings. Changing my virtual self's activity, the in-game time of day and adding sounds like rain, vinyl crackle or wind can attract new critters who'll happily chill with me. It's a neat way of getting me to try out different vibes and find my perfect goober companion.

I am, admittedly, quite a sucker for all this gamification of my life. Maybe that's part of the problem of why my brain is always so freakin' noisy, but stuff like Spirit City toes the line of game and life assistance in a way I really rock with. Besides, I've always wanted to be a lofi girl with cool spirit critter pals. Now I can.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.