Christmas on Farmville
I think one of the
funnier things I’ve said about Farmville probably involves blasphemy that
will probably earn me a tense moment or two at the Gates of Heaven. I
think it even sort of offended my largely agnostic leaning towards atheist
roommate. Or she just didn’t think it was funny. I’ll place this at the
bottom of the column with a warning that this is that thing you may not
want to read, just in case.
Meanwhile, we’ll deal
with Christmas. When I started playing they were doing Thanksgiving stuff
on the farm. I didn’t get a whole lot of this, and I built a Tool Shed to
store the couple of things I did got. Then it was Christmas time, and I
must say they went all out. There is a lot of symbolism revolving around
Christmas, and they managed to hit many of the stops. There were
decorations, there were Ornament Trees that “grew” ornaments and took 2
days to harvest, there were reindeer, there were presents which were not
the same as gifts because they went under a Christmas tree, and you could
cover your farm in snow.
Fan of “Really? Only 10 Signs? Forget the Chicken Coops, Increase the Sign
It seems like there are a
lot of groups on Facebook, and I’m not sure how many of them are worth
joining. The neat difference between My Space groups and Facebook groups
is the names. They take their cue from Non-Fiction books and epic emo
songs in that they have very long titles. You get things like Become a Fan
of “I use my cell phone as a flashlight when it’s dark” and “If Suzanne
mentions dating in the next year, smack her” and my fave so far “You’re
not a vampire, you’re a sparkly douche in a tree.”
Yes, if you can form a
complete sentence, you too can create a Facebook group. That’s why I’m
going to create one called “Go!” One of my friends posted a status update
that said, “Matt, I’m cutting you off, you’re not allowed to become a fan
of anything else today.” I commented saying that she should make a group
with that name and see if became a fan. She was pretty sure he would.
As this pertains to
Farmville, there are groups for every improvement that anybody could
possibly want implemented in the Farmville game. Does it make sense that
you can have as many Dairy Farms as you want to hold your cows, but you
can only have one Chicken Coop? Well then make a group. If they’re working
on an expansion to 24x24, why not just work on an expansion to go up to
30x30 instead? Well then make a group. I don’t join any of these groups,
nor do I join any of the groups that promise free Farm Cash (see the
section about scams in last week’s column) or any other “cheat” that’s
probably too good to be true. But create a group increasing the number of
signs I can place around the farm, and I’ll join it in a heartbeat.
I should clarify what I’m
talking about. Farmville has a function that allows you to place signs on
your farm and your neighbours’s farms. You get about as many characters as
a text message, but that’s fine because it forces you to be brief. The
first sign I posted to my farm was “I love apps, I love apps, I love
apps.” I didn’t really convince myself, but I tried. The second sign I
posted involved the one crop plot that is in the middle of nothing that
was sort of placed out of pattern. I commented something to the effect of
it was clearly poor planning. The black sheep on my farm claim ownership
of that plot now, and I wouldn’t try to take it from them. They’re mean.
The first sign a neighbour placed on my farm said, “Telekinetic farming is
the way of the future.” If you play the game, you probably get that.
So, when Christmas rolled
around I got this idea. There were gift-able Reindeer, and I wanted to get
eight of them and post mini bios. I used the name of one of Santa’s
reindeer, and then made a funny comment. One of my neighbours read these
and said, “I like your reindeer sayings,” and that was enough to make it
worthwhile for me.
The problem is that as I
set these signs down, I noticed that older ones were disappearing.
Apparently, you can only have a total of ten signs on your farm. Lame. One
of my favourite functions and it’s horribly limited. I was going to write
the first novel using Farmville signs damn it. Now my dreams are crushed.
If you want a point of
reference about what I meant in that last paragraph about the novel, go to
our daily blog and look up the blog called “Idea Generation” posted
February 24, 2010. There is a tree of older titles on the right hand side
of the blog page, which shows it as of this writing.
I didn’t get all eight
reindeer soon enough anyway. I have them for next year, and I saved the
text from the signs, but by the time I got eight this year it was sort of
too late, and I had other glitches to deal with, see below.
One more thought about
signs at Christmas, and then I’ll list the Reindeer mini-bios below. There
were these snow piles separate from the snow cover you could give your
farm. They were just these white clumps. Maybe if I’d used the snow cover
they would have blended in, but on my green grass, they were just white
blobs that I arranged loosely together in a larger white blob. Next to
this blob I placed a sign that said, “Yes, it’s the Stay-Puft Marshmallow
Mini-Bios and Sex on the Farm
Dasher – The best groomer
of Santa’s Elite (oh, did you think the elves were elite) also the
fastest, except in the bathroom I the morning.
Dancer – Known as Jo Jo by the other reindeer, Dancer
is the second most likely to be found listening to Miley Cyrus and ABBA.
Prancer – Prefers Reindeer of the same sex (just
reporting facts.) The most likely to listen to Miley and ABBA, and
actually means it.
Vixen – Was introduced to Santa by Richard Marx.
Nobody gets that.
Comet – Wrote a book “No Comet: The Year Santa Left
Me Behind with a Bad Case of the Reins.” Made it on three worst seller
Cupid – Once a star in
the Reindeer Wrestling Federation. His entrance song was “Cherub Rock.”
T-shirts read, “I’m with Cupid, stupid!”
Donner – Voted most
likely to survive if the sleigh ever crashed in the mountains.
Blitzen – Has been
through AA more than is healthy. They finally just compromised that he
must stay sober Christmas Eve.
The odd thing about this
is that Farmville censored me. They didn’t allow the word “sex.” Now, I’m
sure you’re thinking that it keeps people from going to neighbours farms
and leaving inappropriate signs asking for sex. But let’s face it; there
are many ways that one could go about asking for sex without mentioning
sex by name. One of my favourite things to do in life is say things to
people that can be construed as dirty, but only if they make the actual
leap from what was said, to why it sounds dirty.
My most recent best
example of this was while I was playing Scrabble with someone who I know
well enough to get away with this, at least I hoped. She had swapped one
tile the turn before hoping to get the letter she needed to spell a good
word she had. And she got the letter. She related this to me, and I
explained that in Magic: The Gathering when there is a card you want or
need to draw on your current turn, and you manage to draw that card, it’s
called “top decking.” And that maybe for Scrabble we could call it
something like, I don’t know, “sack grabbing.” The reaction was something
to the effect of, “We will not call it that!!!!” And I just played it off
as innocent. *twirls hair* =)
One of my Farmville
neighbours related that they (or somebody they knew, can’t remember) had
to block one neighbour cos they were spelling dirty words using
decorations on their farm, so you see what I’m getting at about censoring
what you write in the signs. What it comes down to is that if someone acts
inappropriately, you block them. Simple enough.
And besides, Farmville
themselves sort of pulled what I’m talking about where you have to make
the actual leap from what it says to why it sounds dirty. Needless to say,
my brain made the leap. Such a dirty boy. *spanks self* Uh, yeah. *feels a
little embarrassed by my recent action* If I was any sort of an editor,
I’d totally remove that.
“Lonely Bulls” to the farm mix, which was fine except that “lone” means
one, and I now have twenty-something of these lonely bulls. What it said
was that if you put a bull in your Dairy Farm that something special might
happen. The something they were talking about was that when you collected
from the Dairy Farm, you might find a baby calf. Yep, these bulls aren’t
Now when you collected
from the bulls that weren’t in the Dairy Farms, the drop down menu said
“Brush Bull” because that’s the default for any animals that doesn’t
produce milk or eggs or wool or feathers. Or ice cubes, no really. You
just brush them and collect their hair. Recently, though they changed it
from “Brush Bull” to “Calm Bull.” Ummm. I’m not sure if I’m ok with this.
They already have a “Pet” function so, I’m not just calming them by
rubbing their heads. And I notice that the meter claims that I’m still
“collecting” from the bulls. Ewwwwww.
One day I signed into
Farmbook, or whatever, and I found a Christmas Tree in my Gift Box. There
was an explanation as to how this Christmas Tree worked. Step One: Place
the tree on your farm somewhere. Step Two: Realize that your farm is a
mess, and you really have no room for the tree. Step Three: Clean up your
farm. Step Four: Go to the Gifts screen and send your neighbours
“presents” and wait for them to send them back. Step Five: When you get a
present in your Gift Box put it under your tree. Step Six would come on
Christmas Eve, when you would open the presents.
This went in a couple of
stages. Initially, you could only have 60 Presents under your tree, but
Virtual Farmers are insane, and most people had the tree filled quickly.
They moved the limit up to 100, and the Present swap started again. They
also dropped in news feed items to publish to your wall that triggered
every 20 presents to say, “Hey I’m progressing in presents!” And as an
added bonus your friends could get a present for their tree. This meant
that at five times as you put presents under your tree your friends would
get this bonus, and no more than that, because no one could open presents
The problem, if you want
to call it a problem, is that when we started opening presents, many of us
had extras sitting in our Gift Box, and we realized upon replacing the
presents that we opened that we would still get the wall post that gave a
bonus to our friends. This meant that you could open one present, put
another present under the tree, and post up a bonus.
My roommate and I sat up
for four hours doing this. That first night, some of the presents were
fuel refills, which were in short supply up until that point. I still have
over 400 “gallons” from that, and “Fuel Week” which will have to be dealt
with in Part Three. They never turned off the bonus presents, but after
that first day, there were no more fuel refills. I told my roommate that
it only counts as a “cheat” if you read it elsewhere. If you discover it
on your own, it’s legit. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but whatever.
Maybe I can deal with some of the “cheats” in Part Three too. I’ve sort of
avoided it, because I wanted my articles to have content that wasn’t all
over the internet anyway, even if mine wasn’t quite as useful.
Concerning Part Three
The first two parts of
this have been a long time in the planning. I would make notes about
things I found funny or just interesting enough, and when I had a lot of
these notes I figured it would be a good time to start writing them out. I
do still have a few notes, but I doubt they’re enough to write a full
column. I’ll start writing though, and when I have enough I’ll post it up.
I hope you have enjoyed these first two installments though. I’ve enjoyed
writing them. I should probably post the link to them sometime soon. I
kind of spaced it out.
This is that Thing You
May Not Want to Read
If you’re not familiar
with Farmville game mechanics, you plant crops and place trees and animals
on the farm. The crops grow for a set amount of time ranging from 2 hours
to 4 days. It literally takes that long in real life too. The animals
become ready to collect from, and the trees become ready to harvest,
ranging from 1 day to 5 days, again in real time. In order to collect or
harvest, you click and select “Harvest” or “Collect Milk” or something
similar. My thought was that around Easter they could create a Jesus crop
that you plant in front of the Romans for a few days until he fully pisses
them off. At which point you click on the Christ and choose “Crucify” from
the drop down menu. He goes onto the cross until he’s fully dead, and you
choose “Seal in Tomb.” Then after 3 days he’s alive again, and you choose
“Resurrect” from the drop down menu. My defense is that Christians read
this story every year around Easter, and it’s just as morbid. Somehow it
would be offensive in Farmville. That and India makes up one sixth of the
Earth’s population and only about 2.3 % of them might be offended by this.
China makes up another one-sixth of the Earth’s population and only 4 % of
them might be offended. Meanwhile, here in the US we don’t even half
billion status yet. Just saying.
Back to Main Page