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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The truth about YoVille

I'm addicted to Facebook games. There, I said it. That's the first step to recovery right?

What I'm really trying to do is manage the time I spend on such applications. They are fun, and they are stress relieving. But like with any other electronic toy or activity you can spend too much time on it.

So "they" say.

Maybe I'm just bowing to the pressure from the pious folks who claim they've never ever succumbed to a Facebook request to send a drink or poke someone, much less play a game. On FB, they grouse about such folks as I. Some columnists in the paper even call the millions of people playing FB games "losers."


Hmmm. A recent study showed that playing games like Bejeweled, which apparently requires the use of both sides of your brain relieves stress. Considering our current economic state, two wars and the ever-growing concerns about climate change, I'd say relieving stress is a pretty darn good idea.

And, I have another theory on some of the games like Farmville and Yoville. Farmville and Farmtown allow us to escape to a simplier time. We plant, we grow, we harvest and all is well. Ever notice there are no droughts or hail storms to wipe out your crops in Farmville?

This past year when I was first kicking off the freelance gigs and was making only enough to pay the basic bills, it was a tough adjustment from the substantial salary from the year before. Savings were dwindling, so there was no "shopping" or money for Starbucks even. We went from a gorgeous pool house to house sitting other folks' gorgeous homes while our stuff sat in storage.

It was hard. Then, I discovered Yoville. In this virtual world, I could spend as much money as I wanted. I lived in a nice loft, so I spent time decorating. I learned to increase my fortunes. Then I bought a beach house, and then a nice house in the suburbs. It was only later in the year that I realized that this virtual game had helped me survive a year with little shopping and not having my own home.

I still occasionally play the game. I never let it consume me, but I think it was an important piece to my emotional well-being this past year.

The truth about Yoville and all games is that if it helps you cope, then play. The only "losers" in my book are the people who think they are superior to the rest of humanity.

For the rest of us humans, I'll see you in Yoville...