It began with a breezy launch. One day, my sweet adult daughter, whose head was constantly in her phone showed me what she was playing, and I downloaded the app too. Maybe it was my subconscious or my naturally devious thought process that had me do it, but either way, the lure of the game and enticement of tutoring me got my baby girl to spend the night. (Insert naïve, giddy smile).
Pizza and wine, discussing the game and listening to music while playing that first night into the wee hours will forever be a nice, memorable evening. But then she left.
And I had livestock to feed. And crops to water. And levels to master. And land and equipment to buy. And contests with countdowns. For the next several weeks—which sets the clock on where I am today— I’ve devoted my effing life to this stupid game. And while I pledged not to spend real money on the game—eventually, I felt like a chump for working so hard when for a few dollars, I could make some real headway and get me some keys. Keys are everything.
For a variety of unsolved technical issues having to do with the actual phone I chose to play on being a part of a network for our business…. (Stop. It’s not illegal or unethical! The business iPhone just happens to have huge amounts of unused gigs, and…. I fully intended to reimburse the company. So zip it.) I could not accomplish the download. And believe me – I tried.
After about a week, I noticed my hands and arms tingling with some nerve pain. Then it traveled to my back. I woke with headaches. The game has timers set on everything—so receiving some rewards—like desperately-needed shovels can only be done every 7 hours or so. But since my sleep has always been restless, I found that I could reach out to my phone at the bedside and replace some failed mid-R.E.M. time with resetting the countdown timers on the game, and reaping rewards. Hmm.
Sometimes while driving and walking, I found myself looking around for items to harvest. I dreamt about hungry cows and goats jumping, waiting for me to feed them. I had trouble focusing on and neglected my other work. All not good signs.
I’ve deleted the game several times. Each of those efforts lasted about 12 hours. Happily (or sadly), re-downloading the game always brought me back to the same place – all items were stored. I tried setting personal limits and bargaining with myself about how often I could look at the game and tend to the farm, and some days were better than others, but two more things happened. One, I was getting down on myself every time I cheated and failed on a personal bargain, and two, I began to feel depressed when I didn’t win challenges. Like I was a loser.
And my physical pain and hand cramping was getting worse. What the hell was I doing? The game would only grow and need more and more and more time and attention like some crazy fast-motion rural sprawl until my head exploded and fingers could literally no longer make the movement to swipe. Not a pretty outcome.
Basically dead and disabled in a month. Over an app.
You’re my circle of trust. Right? I can share this without judgement. Right? Because if you think you can handle the game – then go right ahead. Be giddy. Download it! Get started!
Just tell me how you do. In the meantime. I deleted it again. And breathed. It’s a bad drug, people. And not one of the good ones. Minnesota finally legalized edibles and I got a cute shipment yesterday from a fun shop. Interestingly enough, I have absolutely NO worries about becoming addicted to that drug. Strange right? For all the previous illegality, for all the rigorous debate and worry, it’s a tiger I know I can handle.
But not the game. It won.