Saddest endorsement ever

Did you know that Farmville, with 62 million players, is only the second-biggest browser-based farming game in the world? Happy Farm has, according to Wikipedia, 228 million active users, mainly in China and Taiwan.

It brings addiction, but more importantly escapism, to those living in the most populous nation on Earth:

I like Happy Farms. I enjoy cultivating, irrigating, spraying, and harvesting. My high-pressure work, and cold tall buildings makes me feel like I cannot breathe. I have to turn to virtual nature, have my own house and farm. I wish I could have a real house and farm, but it seems so far away.

Contrary to the name of the game, that endorsement made me sad.

13 responses to “Saddest endorsement ever

  1. well…yeah. Very depressing. Makes me want to never do what he’s doing.

  2. There is something deeply unhealthy about the desperately over populated hives in which many of us now live.

    I sometimes forget how lucky i am, how lucky we all are in Oz..

    Better be careful though, in case this thread becomes another population booster “thread of doom” 😉

  3. Having just spent the holiday Monday chasing dopey cows around a mate’s farms lush green paddocks under deep blue skies and a warm sun, the thought of working on a “farm” online makes me gag.

  4. jordanrastrick

    Better be careful though, in case this thread becomes another population booster “thread of doom”

    Duncan, that’s priceless – you make an incredibly tenuous link between the mental health of gaming addicts in Asia and population growth, and then in the same breath try to forestall anyone actually calling you out on it. Well, a debate on population growth would indeed be a distraction in this thread, so I for one won’t take the bait.

    The addictiveness of Farmville and Happy Farms and Mafia Wars and the rest represent a disturbing trend. They have distilled the compulsive elements found in existing video games that come from cheap stimulation of the brain’s goal/reward pathways; and more to the point, stripped away nearly all those other unneccesary components found in older games like strategy, socialising, problem solving, narrative, teamwork, co-ordination, aesthetics, education, etc.

    I think at this point a link to one of Paul Graham’s recent essays wouldn’t go astray.

    P.S. Jeremy, I don’t suppose you were alerted to the existence of Happy Farm by the recent xkcd?

  5. Let me guess, you found this out from xkcd? That map is an extraordinary piece of work.

  6. Yup. Well guessed.

  7. Splatterbottom

    Wow! Somebody doesn’t like their job and dreams of a different life.

  8. Compassion creeps you out a bit, doesn’t it SB?

  9. Splatterbottom

    Its not the compassion bloods. What creeps me out is the total loss of perspective that follows when little lefty hearts begin to bleed.

  10. Not sure you’re able to tell the difference, SB. By the way, most of the leftie hearts I know are big.

  11. weewillywinkee

    I feel sad too. I wish we could all have a place to call home that is safe and has space to have our own little garden and some animals. One day … you know it just might happen.

  12. Australia needs farmers, too. On your bike, JS. You most likely have the capital, the smarts to secure any additional necessary loans, and the work ethic to follow through.

  13. Actually bingbing, you would be surprised how much collateral you need to get a rural business loan now days.

    Its about 35-40% of the total value of the property, so to buy even a fairly small farm you need hundreds of thousands of dollars up front.

    Relevant qualifications help too.

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