Way back in the day, before I was spending a good chunk of my waking hours online (blogging and such) I spent a good chunk of my time playing games like “Sim City” and “Roller Coaster Tycoon”. Looking back, I can’t believe I played as much as I did, but I suppose in a few years I’ll be in disbelief about all the time I spend on the internet, too.
Eventually blogging and other social media pursuits took over and I stopped playing computer games.
Over the years I have received countless invitations from friends to play every game under the sun, like “Words With Friends”, “Candy Crush”, and lots of others whose names I can’t recall.
I resisted. Actually, I didn’t only resist. I blocked invites because they were coming fast and furious.
Then, about eighteen months ago I was talking to Liz and she was telling me about this awesome game called “Hay Day” that she was playing, to help her relax after a stressful work day. The game entails building a farm, maintaining it, and filling orders for trucks and boats. It’s a Thinking game but sort of a no-brainer at the same time. I tried it, and naturally I was hooked. I got into the habit of playing it for a little while every evening before bed. Liz and I created our own “subdivision” so we can easily sell items to each other. It’s been ridiculously addictive.
I like to think that Jim is amused by this farm obsession since I’ve always been a city girl in real life. (My dream home would be any condo in a downtown Chicago high rise. Marina City? Totally, but I’d take anything.) See the irony?
Anyway, if Jim is amused he doesn’t show it. I try to drive him a little crazy by telling him about what kind of pies I’m baking, or how great my cows are doing, how awesome it was that Liz sold me a cheese wedge for just one coin (one coin! That’s almost free!), or “LOOK AT ALL OF MY DOGS!”
He’s not very amused, as adorable as I am. He thinks the game is ridiculous. Even so, he gets into bed every night, looks at me with my iPad, and says, “FARMIN’?” which cracks me up.
I have been trying to get him to play “Hay Day” for more than a year, and he has resisted, hard core.
Fast forward (or slightly rewind? Depends on how you look at it) to two weeks ago, when he told me that he started playing “Sim City: Build It”. He LOVES this game. I could almost say he’s obsessed with it.
He started telling me about the metals and plastics his factories were making, how great his people are doing, and how he needed to build a Board of Education for his citizens. This all sounded oddly familiar.
I said, “Huh. This sounds an awful lot like ‘Hay Day’. You know what you’re doing, right? FARMIN’.”
“No, I’m not,” he said.
“YES YOU ARE. YOU ARE FARMING.”
And then he let loose with, “This is the big city, not the farm. I’m a mover and a shaker, Jethro!!”
Jethro. Sigh. And LOL.
It’s still the same game. THE SAME GAME. They may take place in different locales with differently themed tasks and they may be from different companies, but they’re the same game at the core. Exactly.
How do I know for sure? I know because of the play-by-plays he provides, I know because of what I’ve looked at when he shows me what he’s doing, and I know…because I have downloaded it myself.
What?? Yeah, I downloaded it. OKAY?
You can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl. Virtually, that is.