“My name is Stefan and….. sigh….”(silence)
(The Crowd around me starts to prompt – “Go On” “Say it” “Say It!!!”)
“I’m a Farmville Addict”
(YAAY!!! Crowd screams and claps all around)
This, my friends, is how I expect my first meeting for “Addicts Anonymous” would go after I decide to quit playing these ridiculous games online. Yes, I know they are ridiculous but as of right now, I am not ready to quit. What I can do is admit that I have a problem. And boy do I have one!!
I have always known about my problem for a long time. Someone would introduce me to a song/game/book/tv series etc and all of a sudden I’m hooked. Hooked in a very unhealthy way. Hooked in a way that I long to know every detail, fact, trivia, picture etc that I can find on the particular topic.
But as with every addiction, there comes a point when you no longer get the high you initially got and all attempts at regaining that high are just never the same. Alas you keep on using, just so that one day, just one sweet day, that initial high will return. It never does. I am there and I still can’t stop. It has gotten so bad that I cut a date short on Wednesday because I knew that I had crops that were maturing shortly and didn’t want to risk them dying or me not being able to move up a level before midnight.
I was not meant to play Farmville. I had decided a long time ago that after my love affair with Bejeweled Blitz had consumed me, that I would no longer be a slave to any game. It is so bad that I MUST to get a score over 100,000 points before I am to be able to turn in for the night. Heroes Ability, Pirates, Fight Club, Hexic, Uno, Jungle Jewels and many others; they all had me at one time or another and I continued to play then even after they stopped making sense. Bejeweled Blitz however got me real BAD primarily because it deals with scoring a certain as many points as possible in one minute. You can have a series of good games, then a series of low scoring ones, but because the game ends in one minute you end up playing over 100 games in any one sitting and then when you look up and realize that your car is still in the road and it is 1am in the morning and you haven’t gotten off your bed since you got home. Oh and you are hungry too!!
I knew that I couldn’t handle another game like this one at all.
Then, one little innocent visit to Chaguanas to see my goddaughter, turned me into a person that scours other people’s farms in an attempt to see if I can get an Experience Point (XP) for chasing away raccoon, foxes gophers etc.
This is how it all began.
On Sunday November 8, 2009 2:00pm, I logged onto Facebook, accepted a friend’s Farmville request, planted some strawberries that would bear fruit in 4 hours and walked away. Then while watching a movie a couple hours later, it dawned on me that I would not have access to a computer when harvesting had to begin, so I needed to stay in Chaguanas a little longer than expected. I left there at 8pm and had moved up two levels already.
Cut to Monday 16, November 5:45pm, where I have just advanced to level 17 and am now closing in on some people that have been playing the game for more than three weeks (Really? what were they doing for so long? Did their crops die? What were they planting to take so long to advance?). The game however is getting harder and I require more XP points to advance each time and people are not fertilizing my crops as much as I am fertilizing theirs. Selfish BASTARDS!!!!
Confused? I am sure you are, but I can try my best to explain my addiction but it really stems from a need to beat EVERYONE in any game that I play. Now this need doesn’t extend to any sport involves me being outdoors, in sneakers and sweating, but it is in the same context. I am not any kind of savant or MENSA member but I just have this inherent need to be on top or at least be ahead of people I consider inferior to me in some respect. I know that is bad to write but hey guess what? I didn’t call any names.
I was going to spend time and explain the game but let me just list some of the problems/issues I am having with it.
· Why the hell do they limit the number of FREE gifts I can send out to people when I don’t get any XP for doing so?
· If I use the Free Gift table, all of a sudden I can send request to another Farmville friend to add me as a neighbor. What is up with that?
· I don’t like to BEG. For ANYTHING!!! And this game creates a dependency on people. You need to send out a request to your friends so that they fertilize your crops. If they don’t, you don’t get XP points when it is time to harvest!!! I really don’t like this feature. Being dependent on people is a serious game flaw, as there are too many selfish people around. Can I not use my coins to buy fertilizer?
· Twenty Four hours? Really? That is how long I have to wait before I can fertilize someone’s farm again or send a gift?
· I can only fertilize 5 blocks/plots? Really? Do you know how many people I have to be dependent on now to get all my crops fertilized? This is a crappy feature!!!!
· Why do people keep sending me chickens?
· Why do animals keep wandering off other farms and why do I have to find a home for them? Can’t I keep them if they wander onto my farm?
· When an animal matures you can collect stuff from them, but ummm…. Brown Cow=Chocolate Milk? Pink Cow=Strawberry Milk? Cat-Yarn? Pig= Truffles? Light Green Cow=???? Pistachio?
· Why are there no dogs on the farm? Why are all the cats black? Why are there turtles on the farm? Elephants?
· These ribbons things come at weird times. I feel bad to call my friend Cindy in the middle of the night to tell her that I am about to post bonus point for another winning another ribbon. What must her family think of me during these times?
· I am glad there is no crop disease or pestilence in this farm universe but if foxes appear on your farm, how come they never slaughter on the animals on it?
· Why do I need a bird bath, a park bench, a topiary (What the hell is that?) or even silo when NONE of these things will be of use to me other than being a decoration on the farm.
· I suck at landscaping/designing etc. Why can’t the game give you options as to how your farm should look? Some people’s farms look amazing while others look like mine (In need of divine/supernatural intervention before their farm can look remotely presentable).
I can write more, but frankly, I am just ashamed of myself for still being hung up on this game. Right now I have set most of my crops to mature around 7pm tonight and hopefully that would mean I get to move up another level during that time. However, I am faced with the situation that over the course of the week I have placed animals on my farm at different times of the day, so that when they mature I may not be available in a timely manner to collect. Believe or not, this worries me and if I had access to Facebook at work, I would be sorting this stuff out now!!!
The weird thing is that I always come across people who leave their farms with fallow ground and just go on with their lives. How do they do it? I guess they actually have a life or some semblance of one. Either way I am promising myself to make a concerted effort not to let this game control me.
The problem however occurs when I get home and I am trying to rack up XP points all around me before my crop matures. This ends up taking a long time and I don’t notice the hours fly by. The missed calls and voicemails on my phone signal that I forgot to take my phone off of “silent mode” when I got home and therefore I missed all opportunities for human contact or interaction.
Oh well, let’s see if I can get a reasonable high score on Bejeweled Blitz while I wait for Farmville to refresh itself.