There's a new love in my life. Actually, it is more like an addiction. Oh, it's not anything like drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography or gambling. I am addicted to an on-line computer game called Farm Town.
I can understand how someone living in a city apartment might become enamored with the idea of having a farm and growing crops, having animals, trees, flowers, etc. But I actually live in the country in a 100+ year old white farm house, although I'm not growing anything (unless you count some onions, two rhubarb plants, and three old apple trees).
The way Farm Town operates is much like the real world with goals that are similar to those of today's society. The object is to rise up the ladder of success and be rewarded with a better title or job description. As the player reaches ever higher levels, she is able to purchase different crops, animals, more land, and eventually she can get a small house, a barn and silo. Points are earned by planting and harvesting. This doesn't sound like a terrible addiction, but the problem arises from always wanting more - a bigger white house, a pond, a river, a mansion.
Farm Town is an escape from reality. The big difference between it and real-life farming is that the game affords almost instant gratification. Grapes take only four hours to ripen, potatoes one day and pumpkins three days. Unlike reality, the farmer has no worries about the weather, how cold it is, or whether plants will get enough sunshine. There are no potato bugs in Farm Town, the work is not back breaking and you don't even have to get your hands dirty. It's all done with the click of a mouse.
One similarity to real life is that my farm requires constant attention. With all those crops ripening so quickly, it is necessary to constantly harvest, plow and reseed. There are days when my virtual farm is well tended, and my virtual flowers are watered, while my real life property is ignored. I can spend a great deal of time on my virtual farm, visiting my virtual neighbors, and moving my outbuildings, fences, trees and flowers from one spot to another.
I'm going to quit cold turkey - just as soon as I get a big white house with a creek flowing on the other side of my dirt road. I think I'll call it Mill Creek.