FarmVille Freak of the Week: “I Know Why the Caged Farmer Sings” by FarmVille Freak Charlie
I received an email from FarmVille Freak Charlie and immediately I knew that she would be our FarmVille Freak of the Week.
She sent us a lovely piece of writing about her personal FarmVille experience, titled, “I Know Why The Caged Farmer Sings”. As I read it, I recognized many of the things that so many FarmVille Freaks, myself included, enjoy about FarmVille. The escape, the community, the farming. Sure, it doesn’t even come close to real life farming, but that’s part of the fantasy. Cotton Candy trees and Disco Cows with a handful of Pig poop- all without ever having to get your hands dirty.
From FarmVille Freak Charlie:
“Love your site btw! Thanks for the info!
Here’s my lovin’ spoonful…”
I Know Why The Caged Farmer Sings
“I know why the caged farmer sings.
Some days I like my Farmville life better than my real one.
Yes, I confess, I am addicted to Farmville. I KNOW it’s not an even remotely realistic portrayal of the life of a farmer, NOR does it foster any kind of understanding about crops, soil, or animal husbandry, but it does do something strange that farming also does – build community. And, let’s face it -like any good game- it brings joy.
Here’s what a ‘day in the life’ is like on my farm.
I start off my day with a stroll through my Olive groves, saying hello to my Arborists who have dropped by to do a little harvesting. On my right are my two Duck Ponds, filled with Swans, Belted Ducks, Orange Ducks, and yellow, red and brown ducklings. My grey Ugly Ducking swims by and quacks a hello. He knows he’s my favorite.
I step lightly around my magic fairy ring, marked by a circle of mushrooms with a beam of sparkly light emanating from it, and walk up to the first of many animal pens-this one containing my two grey Baby Elephants. I toss them a handful each of peanuts and then look down to see a Gentle Longhorn nuzzling my leg-holding a rose in its mouth. I gratefully accept.
Suddenly a lovely smell catches my nose, and I realize that my cotton candy tree is in bloom. So I take a shortcut through my cupcake field and head over to my ‘fun orchard’ filled with giant cotton candy and snowcone trees. My Mint Candy and Chrome Cherry are also ready, and my two Giant Bubble Gum trees are just starting. The purple one has one nice fruit within reach, so I grab a big bobble and pop it into my mouth. On the way back out I also stuff some Starfruit, Ruby Grapefruit and a Hass Avocado into my satchel for later.
In my Farmville life I am also a light-skinned blue-eyed blond, but unlike my real-world street self, I am wearing a Visigoth costume consisting of a belted furry brown tunic, thigh-high brown leather boots, fur trim on my shoulders and a broadsword slung over my back. I have a large thick arm tattoo on my right arm, my hair is in high pigtails and I’m wearing sporty sunglasses. I have a castle, a winery, a trading post, and various animal housings. In one corner of my farm I have a little memorial graveyard where my grandfather and cat have a tombstone, and tree (respectively). There is a golden plum tree planted next to my grandfather’s grave (like he used to have on his farm) and I leave him fresh lilacs every two weeks because my grandmother loves mauve.
I take a quick stop by the Nursery Barn, marveling at the Holstein calf and new Disco Pony (complete with fro, white jumpsuit and funky purple sunglasses), and suddenly I hear a voice calling my name. My new friend Erin drops by to leave me a White Truffle that her Pig found on my farm, and we go for a quick stroll. A Silke Chicken dodges between our feet as we take a quick stroll to see how my crops are coming along. For the next 12 hours I am growing cotton, Cupcakes, Electric Roses, Purple Heirloom Carrots and Ginger. I have 5 Market Stalls, still selling my last crops of Sugar Cane, White Grapes, Raspberries, Purple Grapes and bunches of homegrown Crystals (some kind of spiky rutilated white quartz.) Erin takes 3 bushels and takes her leave.
Suddenly I realize I am a bit peckish, so I hop into my airship and pop over to my English farm where I partake in (homegrown) Black Tea and Barley Crumpets (homebaked in my bakery there). I sit at a table (decorated with my prize winning English Roses), joined by the county Duke and young Henry who is picking his brain about Sheep Breeding. We spend a few hours sitting leisurely under my Honey Locust Tree next to the east wall of my Moat as the conversation floats between the village news of the day to when my White Pegasus will finally foal. Then as the sun begins to sink into the sky, I (in 2.5 seconds) pop back into my airship and land at home just in time to find that a friend has left an order for my ginger crop. Nice.
My Farmville friends are a lovely, motley crew. Some of them I have known in the real world since I was 5 years old-and others I have never met, but have been referred to me by friends on the merit that they are also active players. In the world of online gaming, three things seem to be important. Being actively engaged; the more friends you have the better; and the more you give, the more tends to come back to you. In Farmville, when you harvest, you share; and your friends can use those ingredients in their wineries, bakeries or spas. Then they make products and give out samples, and you can buy their products. The products you buy can then be turned into fuel, thus saving you money and fuelling your equipment to facilitate your farming. A similar process happens with animal husbandry. It doesn’t take a village to raise a Ewe, but it sure makes it go faster! In a funny, skewed way, it’s the great circle of life, reflected back to us every day. Farmville is a wonderful, peaceful, fertile escape. …and frankly, any chance to walk around in fur boots and a Viking helmet is just fine with me! ” -FarmVille Freak Charlie
In the midst of the recent FarmVille backlash, I think it’s a nice tribute to the roots of the game that we all love to play. Many of you FarmVille Freaks have been farming since the summer of 2009 and it has me wondering, why do you still farm? Maybe it’s your precious farm or your collection of rare Horses, the challenges of mastering crops or trees (like FarmVille Freak Beth whose farm is at the top of this post), the excitement of updates and new features, or the friendships you’ve created along the way. What is it about FarmVille that makes you a certified virtual farmer?
Thank you for sharing your FarmVille experience with us Charlie! If you’d like to share your farming experience or original art, poetry, music, video, or some other FarmVille inspired creation, write to email@example.com to be featured on FarmVille Freak.