gameshis & hers

The tragedy of FarmVille addiction

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We need to come together to face a plague of addiction more tragic than any in recent memory. It’s even worse than drug addiction; even worse than nicotine addiction; even worse than food addiction; even worse than gambling addiction; even worse than shopping addiction; even worse than sex addiction; even worse than Jane’s Addiction.

Actually, sex addiction sounds like it’s probably pretty good — I don’t care what anyone says.

What I am writing about is FarmVille addiction. And no less an authority than Dr. Phil has come out swinging against it:

Dr. Phil confronted a FarmVille-loving mother named Teresa about her duties to her children recently, and he thinks she would be better served to go out and “start a garden for real.”

[Y]ou have a ridiculous addiction to a ridiculous computer game that’s interfering with your ability to be a mother. You needed a fix, and she wouldn’t get off, so you had to create the opportunity.”

It’s good of Dr. Phil to bring such attention to a modern scourge that is — well, it pains me to write this, but — threatening to ruin my own life.

I have been touched by the tragedy of FarmVille addiction.

Nights previously spent watching reality television shows with my female companion are spent watching those shows virtually alone. Oh, yes, she sits on the couch beside me, but her attention is wholly on her laptop, and her never-ending FarmVille game.

“I just got a goat,” she tells me. “I have to put him in a pen so he doesn’t run around.” She speaks as if the goat is real, in a voice tinged by inadvertent Maria-like pathos.

“But, Tom Sizemore just brought a balloon of heroin into the Pasadena Recovery Center,” I tell her, motioning toward the television. She doesn’t even know what I’m talking about. She almost seems not even to care. “Tom Sizemore is giving rehab one more try — for crying out loud, he’s about to see Heidi Fleiss again! This is compelling stuff! Look at the television!”

My plea seems to fall on deaf ears; her face does not turn away from the computer screen.

It’s difficult, but I have to remind myself that she just can’t help it. If there’s one thing “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” has taught me, it’s that television doctors consider addiction to be a disease. It’s also taught me that they pretty thoroughly search you when you enter a rehab facility, so if I ever end up being sent to one, I will have to hide my drugs pretty well. Anyway, she doesn’t mean to taunt me, by sitting there with her game. She is addicted. How else to explain the fact that she is in the same room as me — a charming, witty, sophisticated and extremely good-looking man — and she is choosing to play with her goat rather than watch television with me?

There is only one explanation, and I thank Dr. Phil for articulating it.

Ricky Sprague occasionally writes and/or draws things. He sometimes animates things. He has a Twitter account and he has a blog. He scripted this graphic novel about Kolchak The Night Stalker. He is really, really good at putting links in bios.
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5 Responses to “The tragedy of FarmVille addiction”

  1. I don’t understand what your problem is. Anybody playing FV can manage their relationship to the game. We don’t have a problem. We can stop any time we want. I’d explain it better, but I have to go harvest my Super Pumpkins now…

  2. The real entertainment in this piece, for me, is that Dr. Phil works on the real relationship/society/mind destroyer: TV.

    Tune in and tune out, TV has absorbed a couple of generations now, offering up the fare you mentioned in your article. Pointless reality TV. Jerry Springer. Dr. Phil…

    Why is it that I’ve never heard Dr. Phil tell a couple “Hey, you need to turn my program off right now and get busy working on your relationship! Turn the set off right this instant, don’t give a dang about my sponsors, and get to talking with each other, just like how I’ve been telling you to do it since the last commercial break!”?

    He certainly didn’t offer that sort of advice to this woman. She’s spending time watching Dr. Phil too, it isn’t just Farmville that is encroaching on her time with her kids.

    Nope, it’s “turn off Farmville and go plant a real garden!”, not “turn off my show and get busy communicating with others around you!”

    Besides. Zombie Wars is much more entertaining than Farmville.

    Good read Mr. Sprague.

  3. My suspicion is that Zombie Wars would blow Dr Phil’s mind.

    He’s probably a Farkle man anyway.

  4. What’s a FarmVille?

    And how come Heidi and Tom are allowed in the same room? And did you know said pimp/madam was on Celebrity Big Brother?

    And if she carries on with her goat tell your chick to start watching Millionaire Matchmaker. I would.

  5. This game can take hold of you like any addiction, we need to find balance in our lives. Here is a video parody that I found funny. It’s called PotVilla – Herb’n Farming.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pdAnvRnOqo

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