Like So

Ranting, raving, burning bridges and moving forward.

Futility-Ville

on January 10, 2013

I once tried playing Farmville, just so I could understand what the big deal was and why everyone kept asking me to send them cows. I didn’t last long. A couple of days maybe before my crops withered and I got bored of the concept. I just didn’t get it.

I thought I was above it all.

I was so incredibly wrong.

A while after Farmville I got a request for Frontierville. That’s when I first got hooked. It wasn’t because Frontierville was revolutionary. Instead of building a farm you built a home on the frontier. There were still cows to be milked, crops to be planted, and trees to be chopped. So what was so different?

Ahh – it was the quests!

You see, Frontierville introduced us all to quests. You didn’t just plant crops, you got REWARDS for planting certain crops on demand.

And what were those rewards, you may be wondering…?

It was more crops. Or Xp. Basically the online equivalent of gold star stickers or smiley faces, only you didn’t actually get a sticker. I mean, you got a virtual sticker, but you can’t decorate your fridge with a virtual sticker, now can you?

But somehow I was hooked. For 6 months I built up my frontier. I crafted things in my work cabin. I was an online pioneer! Or something!

Then one day I woke up and realized the futility of what I was doing. I wasn’t actually getting anything out of this game. There was no winning of any kind. Just a perpetual level-up system. I felt cheated. I deactivated my account and moved on.

Or so I thought.

About a year later I was introduced to yet another “ville”. Castleville. I couldn’t resist it. There were fairies! And cute bunnies frolicking! And…! Princesses! And….! Fairies!

(and planting crops and milking cows)

Yes folks, I had fallen in the trap once again. Once again I was milking cows, harvesting crops, and crafting virtual goods, all for the sake of those freaking virtual gold stars.

I became obsessed with “leveling up”. Whenever I was a few points away from it I would desperately use up my energy sources just to reach the coveted next level.

And guess what happened when you reached that next level?

Nothing. Nada. Zero.

I got a pretty little picture and blue stars erupting on my screen. That’s about it.

How in the holy hell did I fall for this again?

You know how the last time I fell into the clutches of Frontierville for six months?

This time, folks, I fell into the clutches of a ‘ville for over a year and a half.

Yep – a year and a half. Because of fairies, bunnies, and blue XP stars.

How the mighty have fallen.

I’m a supposedly intelligent, well-educated 32-year-old woman, and I spent a year and a half of my life milking virtual cows and harvesting virtual crops.

I finally broke free of this, the latest of the ‘ville addictions a few weeks ago, when I once again realized that YOU CAN’T WIN THESE GAMES.

For some reason I keep forgetting that.

Let’s just hope I remember it long enough to ignore the latest invite I have for “Chefville”.

No wonder Zynga is a multi-billion dollar company. Le sigh.

My avatar on Castleville. Is it just me or is she looking a little bitter?

My avatar on Castleville. Is it just me or is she looking a little bitter?

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13 responses to “Futility-Ville

  1. missohkay says:

    Oh but The Sims – the glorious Sims! I could never find them futile… If I had any time to play them, that is. Stupid lawyering getting in the way of my gaming fun :/

  2. Cristy says:

    There is an upside to the situation: you’ve learned how to milk a cow! Yes, it may be different from milking a cow in real life. Still, I consider it a good start. 😉

  3. Jenny says:

    I feel ya. I spent a couple of good years of my life feeding virtual pets on Neopets. Can you believe I would actually feel guilty for not checking on them everyday? Sad.

  4. Ren says:

    Hee hee, I could have wrote this myself. I quit Frontierville after they opened the second part where you had to travel the Oregon Trail. Then I quit Castleville this summer. I did play Chefvill for a bit too, but a short while compared to the other two.

    It’s the quests and the need to have 100 million other friends that are playing as well. Eventually it bogs me down.

    Good on you for abandoning your castle.

  5. Nisha T. says:

    I’ve missed you. And those fuckers never fixed my CastleVille game. I hate them.

  6. Theresa says:

    I’ve not gotten into those particular games but got sucked into Zombie Farm on my iphone for several months. Basically the you’re a farmer and you grow zombies to fight off bad guys (in a very cartoon-y non violent way). But its the same with yours – you just keep going and going and going.

  7. Courtney says:

    I have NEVER played one of these games – because I was told from the beginning that you couldn’t win. HA! If I don’t have a chance at winning, I’m not doing it 😉

    Good luck resisting the next one, especially with 6 months of bed rest in your future! I think that would be the one time that I wouldn’t care if I could win or not at a game, as long as I was winning at gestating 😉

  8. I find leveling a character to be soothing, although I do prefer a game where I can win eventually. Whenever I’m stressed too much, I take a half hour and level my Pocket Legends character up a notch. I don’t care that I’ll never win, I just like that I can finish a tiny little something and see that I finished it! There is an end! If only this same satisfaction came from getting my kitchen spotless…

  9. beingpissy says:

    I lost about two years of my life, leveling up a gnome warlock on World of Warcraft. It was such a big waste. But oh…I miss it so.

  10. Anna says:

    I play games like Diner Dash, Cooking Dash and The Sims. And I end up spending so much of my time playing these games where I’m pretending to clean my house, or cook a meal that I neglect actually cleaning my house and cooking a meal. My obsession is ridiculous.

  11. stephanie says:

    This made me laugh out loud. A few years ago my niece was really into webkinz, so I bought one for myself so that we could play together and I could send her virtual presents. Well…let’s just say that I fed that stupid fish EVERY SINGLE DAY for months and months. Long after my niece lost interest in her webkinz. Keep in mind this was a game aimed at small children. But I just couldn’t stop. (I might have to write about that someday!)

  12. Shanlee says:

    So funny! I haven’t played any of these ville games yet. I’m on a real farm that grows real crops. It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows on a real farm. 🙂

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