Farmville Eats People
I rarely like any RTS, or real time strategy, game. Be it The Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, or Sim City, it’s just not for me. I don’t like micromanaging, I don’t like starting from scratch, and I do not like controlling the behavior of dumb, tiny characters seen from a bird’s eye view with a mere click. That said, I am hopelessly addicted to the Facebook procrastination device known as Farmville.
Farmville has a ridiculously simple premise: your avatar has given up the city life to till the plow. You gain experience points from plowing, planting and building items like barns, troughs, and multicolored hay bales, and gain coins from harvesting plants, fruit, and animal by-products. The only really unusual thing about Farmville is what one reaps from farm animals. Rabbits, for example, produce “angora wool”. When I saw rabbits I thought that I might be collecting feet.
Pigs yield truffles, horses provide horse hair, and, most oddly, baby elephants generate “circus peanuts.” I waited three days hoping for ivory and only got peanuts. When one gains enough experience one’s level increases, allowing different plants, trees, decorations, etc. Farmville profits greatly from its simplicity.
Farmville is so easy a caveman could do it. That is probably why it has done so well with my demographic, who shuts down Sim City after 15 minutes to play Bejeweled . The only skill required to play Farmville is to make sure you attend to your plants before they wither. Despite Farmville’s cute look and intuitive qualities, it is a terrible addiction and a ruthless procrastination device.
I kid you not: I have been stopping every sentence or two of this very review to harvest from trees and animals. I even do this late at night, while writing important essays for class. I feel as though Farmville is a plan to take over the world of two laboratory mice, whose genes have been spliced. The scary thing is: I am very aware of it sucking out my time minute by minute, hour by hour, and I have done nothing to stop it! My theory is that Pinky and the Brain invented Farmville to brainwash us all into tending to fake plants and animals instead of doing important things, like taking care of real plants and animals!
I can provide no reason for why I am so addicted. It’s not like physically addictive drugs where you can pinpoint the chemicals that get you hooked on. With Farmville, I can only guess that it’s mind control that keeps me wanting to plant artichokes. My addiction got really bad when they gave me rice seeds. Rice is terrible because it grows in 12 hours. This meant that I could plant them at noon to harvest them at midnight and plant them again. I had gigantic rice plantations growing 24/7. This also fed my summer addictions of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and sleeping in too late. Fortunately for me, my addiction has been pushed aside by school. I fear that next summer I may fall under the same praxis.
I still play Farmville recreationally. For now, I hope it will not take over my life but I am unsure and take many precautions. For instance, when I plant crops, I make sure to not plant too much and that they will sprout in a matter of many days. To anyone who has not tried Farmville I strongly advise that you don’t. It’s terribly addictive and will slow down your homework to a standstill if you let it.