Posts Tagged ‘Farm Town’

A long time ago, as many as fourteen days ago, in fact, I was exposed to a game.  It is very much like a virus with an incubation period of anywhere from 15 seconds to 30 minutes.

When I first saw this game I thought “Why, they do indeed make games for all kinds, because surely this game is for mutants and farm animals.”  Farm animals is actually a very dry and wry nugget of truth.


I was sipping my coffee and looking through the 3,547 notices I had on FaceBook that fine morning.  Facebook is one of those online sites to meet up with friends and people you knew but you haven’t seen in 20 years.  The amazing thing about FaceBook is it tends to make it’s users totally forget the very reasons why they decided not to maintain contact with those people in the first place.

Only after “talking” with them for 20 seconds does it then dawn on you that you that  (a) the person was evil incarnate, (b) they were as stupid as a sack of hammers slung over the neck of  a chicken wearing socks standing on a mud fence, (c) they are soul-shreddingly shallow, (d) they were a different sex back then, or (e) they’ve completely changed over the last 20 years, for the better (less than 1/10th of 1%).

On that fateful day I was kind of laid up with this neck injury thing, bored, and tired of thinking of work all the time.  I thought to myself, “Well, it hasn’t quite been a year, but  I’ll just go check out my notices, maybe pare that list down a bit.”

There were gifts of hearts (already have one, thanks),  invitations to share my birthdate (I’ll throw my SS# in there as well ok?), friend requests (I can buy one any time I want), and requests for confirmation that we went to school together.   The last one got me thinking… WHAT?  You’re e:mailing me and requesting that I tell you if we went to school together?  This is all stuff that has convinced me to believe that in trying to not be lonely by computer we’re lonlier than we ever were without it.

There were invites to various causes, questionnaires to be filled out about everything from guns to music tastes to whether you’ve seen a shy monster (pick one:  Loch Ness, Bigfoot, UFO’s, Woody Allen), invitations to drink with someone online, booty call inquiries, lists to be compiled (top 5 deodorants), and invitations to join various games.

I don’t know about you but my  idea of a game is one that has BFG-9000’s, MP-5’s, plasma rifles, LAW antitank weapons, swords, attack helicopters… you know, the kinds of games that allow you to get all personal.  Ones that ask you to save Lemmings from certain death but allow you to “accidentally miss” one now and then to witness his fearful demise… that is also my kind of game.  Games with Gary Coleman going postal at a book signing.  Post-apocalyptic bakeries with plutonium peanut butter filling in select pastries.

The games range from Mafia Wars to Poker to… yes… Farm Town.  I was scornful of people that would play such games, likening them to people who play slot machines or those who dress their pets in clothes.

But, as it happens, a very dear friend tipped me off with an invite to play this game.  In spite of my disdain, I was bored silly, and figured I’d try it so I better understood why I mocked these people, these “idiot masses”.  “Idiot masses” is a very strange term with this friend since she’s one of those scary-smart people that you only meet once every ten years, and she has a PhD in physics to go with it.

I tried Farm Town grudgingly, saw some results and said “Well, I’ll keep playing a bit more, and see if it gets more exciting”.  More time went by and I said “Well, I’ll just stop at level 8.”   When level 12 came around I stopped fighting it and stopped hiding it from Cruel Wife whenever she came in the room.

What is scary about this game is the sheer mindlessness of it.  Now, I sit and think all day, during my commute, during dinner, while working after dinner (you get the idea), and so after a while I begin to yearn for something to turn it all off.   Farm Town fits that bill.  It is yet another one of those games where people who don’t like real life can play where they get to simulate real life.

I can still quit anytime I wish.  Really.

An Aussie gal I was talking to over the Farm Town version of Instant Messenger referred to those of us who play this game as Cropstitutes.  I’m not sure Farm Hoes would be far off the mark, either.


Things that aren't grown in Farm Town but you might as well... none of them are for your health.

You’re given this patch of land and some money to plow and plant seeds – rice, watermelon, cannabis, jimsonweed, grapes, carrots, potatoes, coca, cabbages, and opium poppies – whatever you can afford and wait for.

You wait the required amount of time (sitting silently, slack-jawed, glassy-eyed, and drooling) which ranges from 2 hours to 4 days (depending on the crop).  Real-time.  Then, when the computer tells you that your crops are ready to harvest, you can go to the market and seek out other slack-jawed, glassy-eyed, and drooling people who have just added begging to their repertoire.  Why add begging?  Well, if you go the market and want work done there is no shortage of people queued up with the mindset of starving people fleeing an oppressive regime.  They scream “Hire me pls!”  “PLEEEEEESE HIRE MEEEEEE”   “I’m out of money and need a job”… and so on.  See?  A game that imitates life.  I actually encourage this behavior by saying “Oh yes, please do continue begging… it is very very endearing.”

To be fair I do some sideways begging of my own but without the pathetic whine:  “Seeking Gainful Employment”,  “Cat has feline pattern baldness, need work to pay for cure”,  “Will work for peanuts, shells, and stale beer”,  “Cat has crooked teeth, needs expensive braces”,  “Will wrestle your mother-in-law for work”,   or “I exist to serve”.

Eventually you might find a person who is quiet and polite, you hire them, and they come back to harvest your crops and plow the fields for you again.  You can do this 3051 more times and have enough to buy a small house and some animals.   You can Cropstitute yourself and go harvest for others and plow for them.

Show below is Cruel Wife after she has just harvested my crop of carrots out from under the wiggly noses of my killer attack bunnies, who guard my farm like Cerberus himself.

Cerberus the Killer Bunny Guarding the Carrots.

Cerberus the Killer Bunny Guarding the Carrots.

Not all is innocent tho.  Look at this one Farm Town animal giving me the eye…

Bull eyes

Bull eyes... they undressed me wherever I went. And Killer B, the owner of the farm did nothing to help me.

One thing that kind of sold me on the game.  It is these cute little animals that wouldn’t last two seconds around a tiger.  The pig is my favorite.  You click on him and tell him to sleep and he’ll fall over right on his side and start snoring.  And you can talk to your pigs, caress your trees, hug your house, and eventually the pig talks to you and they’ve  got this cute little lisp.


Sleeping pig. Note: People's faces and names were smudged out to protect the innocent.

And if you tell anyone I said the animals were cute, I’ll deny it.

History is re-written by the victors, it seems.   On Drudgereport.com…

The government plans big revisions to historical economic data... Developing...

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