Facebook and the games people play

6 May

I confess, I play games on Facebook.  I’m guilty of wasting time & energy & attention.  Today was a real eye opener though–because I had thought I was wasting inordinate amounts of time on the whole thing, I didn’t realize that for some people, it was really pretty dang serious.  I received about a half dozen truly nasty comments/messages from people about my name appearing on some secret hit list of people guilty of spreading some fake zoo world (one of the games I was playing).  At first, since no one told me what this secret list was…or what this fake application was…how could I fix the problem?  I opted to stop sending gifts (free things you send to friend who also play the game), and I posted a notice saying so on my wall.  As I continued going through things, more nasty messages appeared until I soon lost any sense of fun.  What is the point of doing something that does nothing positive for you?  I don’t gain anything in the real world from the aggravation of putting up with nastiness in this game!

It was then that it began to become apparent–these games were taking way too much time, and I was associating with people who took these games way too seriously.  I think I’m going to bow out of the cooperative games for a while.  I need a break.  I’m tired of having to beg friends to send me things so I can build item x anyhow!  (Farmville & Zoo World both have this thing of having us build things, requiring numerous parts to do so.  Cafe World also added this feature with their “super stove.”)

I used the games as a distraction.  It was a game, therefore supposed to be FUN.  When it’s not fun anymore, why on earth should I do it?  If I want to do something unpleasant, I can go clean the bathroom & scrub the toilet!

In addition, I’ve noticed a number of my friends bowing out of the games.  Too many invitations to too many, and you end up with your life being sucked into a useless cyber existence where you are doing something less pleasant than working.  Even though several are disabled & unable to work, why waste your life being made miserable by games?  I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories too about it–people stopping what they were doing in an inappropriate manner, because they had a ‘baby being born’ or a crop to harvest or a dish to serve.  C’mon–this is the soap opera equivalent for the new millenia!

Perhaps its a symptom of our society in general.  Are our lives so unbearable that we need to seek relief in this imaginary one?  Are we so isolated in our day to day lives that these cyber relationships have more meaning than people do?  I’m not sure, but I’ve watched an increasing number of people in my circle become excessively involved in imaginary worlds on the internet.  I have known of them to call in sick to work, get fired or quit their jobs, and become financially destroyed as a result of their fascination with games.  Some have gotten divorced, lost custody of their children, and even become homeless as their imaginary lives consumed them.

I thought I spent too much time on the internet, on my computer, and in playing games.  I’m still a long ways from that point.  I suppose its a case of self control, of being involved in one’s own life, and of taking control & responsibility for your own life.  If I waste 20 hours this week on games, who’s fault is that?  It is MINE!  All MINE! Do I have better things to do? Oh yes!  (Like write this blog!)

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