Microsoft Excel is already jam-packed with exciting applications. Bar charts! Pie charts! Er, 3D pie charts! What more do you want?
But if you do spend your day job staring into an abyss of visual basic, or VAT payments or building invoices it’s likely that the last thing you’d ever want to do would be to go home, turn on the PC, pour yourself a nice glass of Chablis and open up the spreadsheet programme.
But that’s what Canadian chartered accountant Cary Walkin has been doing in the moments of downtime while studying for his MBA in Toronto.
Walkin has managed to create a video game using Excel – a feat of spreadsheet wizardry that ought to remind those of us who think a spreadsheet cell is a prison euphemism of our meagre little place in the world.
Walkin’s game is called Arena.Xlsm and is a turn-based fantasy game with four different endings, eight bosses and 31 spells. It looks like a fancypants sudoku challenge that can also do your tax return.
Hardened gamers may well stick with the likes of BioShock Infinite but even they would applaud the audacity of building an entire fantasy world using accountancy software.
The last time that was done so effectively, the entire banking system collapsed.