The computer, with its copious gadgets, is holy, my shrine, because it incorporates my soul. I use it as a TV, a typewriter, a DVD player, a telephone, as my personal st office, alternative credit card, low price supermarket and sometimes also as a game station, just to name some of them. Thus, it is not unusual that first thing I do after getting home from the University English course is to unconsciously turn on my computer, even before throwing the backpack onto the blue sheets of my untidy bed.
While the screen shows the standard Windows booting logo, I hang my jacket over the backrest and take a seat. The smell of apples and bananas that I keep on the shelf above the desk arouses my appetite, so I take one apple out of the rustling bag. The sweet juice spreads generously inside of my mouth while chewing, sending a bright smile onto my face.
First of all I open Firefox to look at my Facebook profile, a habit that just recently occurred due to my friends who I keep in touch with there. Apparently I received another invitation to play a stupid game named Farmville. Lifting an eyebrow I wonder why that particular friend keeps sending me this. Anyway, moving on I type a daily message on my so-called wall. The soft keys of the keyboard let my fingers run smoothly over it, issuing whispered sounds each time I hit a series of keys.
A ring intervenes with the key tone, a dominant toot of a trumpet. Eagerly I look for my headphones, plug them in and answer the call. It’s Chris. Immediately I hear a long and happy “heyyyy” and as always it feels like getting a tender, warm-hearted hug. Quickly I finish that delicious apple so I can talk to him. It doesn’t take long until he questions me vigorously about why I do not accept his Farmville invitation.
“Because it’s stupid. I have better things to do than spending my time playing some dumb game on Facebook.”
That was the beginning of another long argument. He kept insisting that it is really fun and that you don’t need much time to be part of the game. With the blue header of the Facebook site still open and the dominant whiteness shining bright into my eyes, I take a look at this mysterious Farmville that so many people feel attracted to. Of course I still keep denying that I would ever play such a thing, putting on a very determined voice.
The small frame inside of the Facebook platform starts loading, a picture of a tiny farm can be seen, with fences, a house and even cows and horses. A flip and the actual game starts, showing a status bar in the top and a menu in the right corner on the bottom line. The middle window shows a blank green field, bordered with a thin line which made a perfect square.
This looks ridiculous to me. Additionally I am supposed to choose an avatar which I do unwillingly. Chris is still trying to talk me into this, not as eager anymore though. “Yeah, I’m already inside, so what can I do here now?” The fascination in my voice must have pierced him, for he begins immediately to jump incoherently from one explanation to another.
Somehow he manages to show me the tools anyway; as a result, I use the provided “money” to plough six small squares of land and plant some strawberries and eggplant. It really does not make sense to do so, there is no achievement in planting various crops in a virtual environment and not getting anything real out of it. Unimpressed, I do it nonetheless.
A slight side of my relentless disinterest got destroyed in that little trip into farm-world. I explore the environment of the game a little further, ask questions about the functions and gradually get familiar with it. The rigorous enforcement of my friend truly changed my view on that Facebook application; in addition the first time harvesting the crops a few hours later really enlightens me. I’m earning a lot of money; thus being able to plough even more areas in my field. I can’t quite belief he dragged me into it, he literally got me addicted!