Do you remember Space Invaders? I do. It was a giant machine that found its way into pizza parlors, drug stores, movie theaters, and of course, arcades. I was never good at it, I always got zapped too soon for my taste. For the price of a quarter, I preferred good old fashioned pinball.
Over time Space Invaders gave way to newer, faster, and cooler games, and as they did there were a few that I liked and played , but only very occasionally. The Star Wars game urged me to, “use the force,” and I did my best to zap those brightly colored centipedes as they worked their way down the screen. Still, I found video games to be mostly a waste of money, so I didn’t play them much. Then I grew up and never gave those games another thought.
Never, that is, until the internet. I found new games on my computer. Games that an older person (with terrible reflexes, who tends toward anxiety under pressure) could enjoy. I spent time playing Boggle and Word Whomp and others whose names escape me. But I could stop whenever I wanted.
Then came Facebook and Farmville. Ah, I see the head nods, some of you know what I’m talking about. What a sweet little farm I had. I had adorable animals, fun candy trees, funky accessories, and crops galore. I was a heck of a virtual farmer, by golly. I did have to sometimes schedule my activities around harvest time, but what farmer doesn’t? The crops need tending, and they don’t care what else is going on in your life. A small sacrifice really, especially if there was a challenge or a quest at stake.
But then Farmville got crazy (as if it wasn’t already, but read on). They added new farms. The New England Farm, the English Farm, the Hawaiian Farm, the Polar Farm, and so on. Before I extricated myself from this
cancer game, I had five farms going. Five sets of crops, five sets of animals, five times the crazy. Holy moly. Needless to say, I decided that enough was enough (but not before I set up a farm for my dog so she and I could send each other things – I know, I hang my head in shame).
I was fine for a while, but then my son introduced me to Angry Birds. Oh, those birds, they made me angry. Then I discovered Words With Friends, and I learned that you didn’t actually need to bother your real friends in order to play. Again, I got in over my head. Running more than ten games at once started to take its toll. I had to stop.
Now there’s Candy Crush and it’s cousin Pet Rescue. Yes, I play them, but I LOVE the fact that after a short while they make me stop. They tell me I must pay or come back later. Thank you, that was the reminder I needed to get off the computer, rejoin real life, and keep my quarter in my pocket.
Am I a gamer? Absolutely not, but I did just clear a new level. Wanna send me an extra life?
December 10, 2013 at 6:07 am
Thank you for a trip down memory lane and very hearty laugh. Space Invaders & Pac Man- I had totally forgotten! Of course I played when one of those giant machines was standing in the corner of some club & I was waiting for the band to start. And Farmville- I thought I was the only one with 5 farms…my family finally had to do an intervention. 🙂
December 10, 2013 at 6:12 am
Honestly, it there was only one farm I would still be happily harvesting candy canes and whatnot, but I just couldn’t keep up. The stress! Thanks for letting me know I wasn’t alone.
December 10, 2013 at 6:16 am
I am still laughing at the thought of all those farms & yes, the stress! I was in constant “when’s the next harvest” mode
December 10, 2013 at 6:35 am
You are not alone! When we were dating, my husband wouldn’t take me home until we stopped at a 7-11 so he could play Galaga, Space Invaders, PacMan etc….I hated it! Fast forward to the internet era and I’m the one with the game playing tendencies. I left Farmville before the extra farms were added but spent at least a year playing Cityville and FarmTown. Currently I’ve been sucked into CandyCrush and Pepper Panic…shameful I know 😉
December 10, 2013 at 6:41 am
They start as such a mindless diversion, but for me they quickly become a giant time suck with very little in the way of reward. Must. Stay. Away. 🙂
December 10, 2013 at 7:41 am
At Space invaders I was always a loser :o) The last game I played was plant v.s. zombies view times ago, I was deep impressed as I saw the clock 2:30 am …. I felt like a teen :o)
December 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm
Ha ha! Thanks for the laugh. 🙂 Hope Easy is feeling better.
December 10, 2013 at 10:10 am
Oh my gosh, I loved those galaga/space invaders type games but they did make me nervous with time and with getting blown up!
I thought nothing would beat Candy Crush but I got so stuck on level 70, which I am convinced cannot be done, that I found a new, lovely strategy game: Juice Cubes, by the same guys who made angry birds. You will like it, I swear (said the fellow addict!)
And one question: where do you get your daily blog prompts? I need to do this with the well that had run dry!
December 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Oh, no! Not another game to try! 🙂
I get the daily prompts from WordPress here (click on Post Everyday for the prompts). Sometimes they click with me and other times they leave me cold. I do like to see how lots of people handle the same prompt.
December 11, 2013 at 6:33 am
I have to laugh reading this! I too, was a farmer. I felt like it was the only thing I could grow but my goodness, it was time consuming. I had to walk away!! And angry birds makes me crazy as well. I still play angry birds friends but you are only given 5 games per week. (I play on Sunday nights)
Have a great day and thanks again for making me feel “I’m not the only one!”
December 11, 2013 at 6:43 am
See, five a week I could handle! As for the farming, forget it. I do miss it sometimes, though. 🙂