Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Take me down to Junior's farm

I have succumbed to peer pressure and popularity and started playing FarmVille.
Don't judge me. Don't even look at me. I feel your judgey eyes, probing me all judgingly-like. Stop it.
In case you didn't know, FarmVille is a game that lets you build and manage your own virtual farm, (planting and harvesting crops, herding livestock, etc.) and it's the latest reviled and/or beloved pointless time-wasting game application phenomenon on the reviled and/or beloved time-wasting social networking phenomenon that is Facebook.
Reviled, because with it's cutesy-pie graphics and constant status updates (really, who cares whether or not your friend won a virtual Blue Ribbon in pretend plumb picking when you're trying to find out what they had for breakfast and what music they're listening to in real life?). Beloved, because it lets the player experience all the fun of farming without getting your hands dirty or having to associate with actual farm-folk.
As is usually the case, I got sucked into this latest diversion out of boredom. And is also usually the case, I was pushed helped. Because of my long-held philosophy that just because something is popular doesn't mean it's good, I was resistant...

THE 23-YEAR OLD: You should play FarmVille! It's sooo much fun!
ME: Just because I look like I should be wearing overalls doesn't mean I'm inclined to be a farmer.
23: If you played, we could help each other out. I could send you gifts to use on your farm and you could send me some to use on mine.
ME: Sometimes you just make me want to pat you on your helmet and give you a nickel to buy ice cream when you get home from boom boom playtime.

Eventually, she wore me down and in a moment of extreme, utter boredom at work, where the entertainment choices were to play FarmVille or push my face into a high-speed oscillating fan, I caved in and tried it. I was hooked almost immediately. There seemed to be a lot to it at first and I remember thinking that maybe there should be a "FarmVille For Dummies" book. Then I remembered FarmVille is for dummies and I was fine. By "fine", I mean completely sucked in and addicted. And I don't even know why. It's certainly not the fast paced action...because there isn't any. And yet I find myself transfixed, staring at the screen, watching my "plants" "grow", which is not even as exciting as that sounds because, of course, there are no plants! It could be because there is some measure of competition to it. The 23-Year-Old called to check up on me and remind me that as a beginner, my farm was lagging behind hers...

23: Nice berry patch you have there. I'll bet the 4H Club is impressed. Let me know when you get a real farm going.
ME: Don't worry about it, my farm is going to be amazing. It's going to be a model of efficiency.
23: Please. My farm is kicking your farm's ass.
ME: I'm getting ready to grow the shit out of some wheat.
23: That doesn't even make any sense...
ME: Watch. I'll have giraffes and leopards running around my farm while you're still trying to unlock chickpeas.
23: I already have animals and trees all over my farm. You have a field. A big field of dirt.
ME: My avatar is going to sneak over to your farm tonight and drop some special home-brewed fertilizer on your crops and then do things to your sheep.
23: Gross!!

After she hung up, I went to bed, setting my alarm for four hours later so I could get up and harvest and re-plant some strawberries. Cycling two crops through in the middle of the night earned me some serious points and allowed me to plant pumpkins.

ME: Who has the best farm now?
23: Jesus! Did you stay up all night, you lunatic?
ME: Technically, no. I'm maximizing efficiency, just like I said I would. You see, it's a matter of knowing how to make your crops work for you, not vice-versa. It's easy unless you're some silly girl with bendy straws for arms who thinks "best" means "cutest".
23: Yeah, jerk, I know what you're doing. You're pumping out as many strawberries as you possibly can. Everybody does that when they start out. Too bad you're only on level five. I just planted raspberries and they only need two hours.
ME: What? Goddamnit, I want raspberries!
23: Can't. Only for level eight and above. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
ME: No problem. I'll be a level eight by this time tomorrow and then I will blast my raspberries all over your face!
23: Gross!!

(It's amazing how many of our conversations end that way...)

So anyway, I can't wait to level up so I can grow raspberries...and also bell peppers, pineapples, blueberries, asparagus, all kinds of stuff...and in the meantime, if you want my undivided attention, it's best to catch me before my strawberries are within 5% of being ready for harvest.

1 comment:

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Gave up on FarmVille and started playing FarmTown instead.You can hire yourself out(or hire other people)to work on each other's farms,for extra coins and XP.
But even better,is Island Paradise.You creat your own tropical island.