Since I have been in China… I have noticed various Chinese teachers in my school playing an online farm game.  I noticed this game awhile back on the American Facebook before it got blocked, but did not pay any attention to it really.  It looked like a waste of time and for small children.

My understanding of this little game is that you own a farm and then you plant vegetables and take care of them and harvest them.. until you can reach different levels and plant more vegetables… you can also steal vegetables from your friends or help them with their farm, by picking weeds and killing bugs.  When you really get advanced you can add animals to your farm. Here you take care of them, have them reproduce and kill flys and clean up droppings to make money. It is a cute little game.. but not really very exciting. There is no shooting or fighting and no riddle you need to solve.. just taking care of vegetable and flowers and some animals, pretty basic.

I never really thought about playing the little game.. because it just didn’t look that interesting to me.  However, I noticed my husband started playing the game… he started timing his farm so others could not steal his vegetables.. then he started setting his alarm early so he could steal other people’s vegetables… I figured he was starting to lose it .. thinking the farm was actually real.  He even congratulated himself on being such a good farmer.  (just plain nutty)

I began to see more and more teachers sneaking to play the game…in the office.. and I heard students talking about the game before, after and during class. I having to shush them and get them back on task. They were discussing what level they were on and what they were going to plant next… the whole school was going crazy over this QQ virtual farm game.

One evening my husband and I went to a coffeehouse for dinner.  In China these are very fancy places, that serve various food, coffees and teas.  They have booths that sometimes hold computers.  While we were being escorted to our table… I noticed that almost every table we pasted that had a computer.. the occupant was playing that damn farm game… I could not believe it.. grown men and women .. hunched over the computer.. planting their corn and eggplant… and cleaning weeds.. from their farm.

While we were waiting for the food we ordered I noticed it was talking a long time.. when I turned to see where our waiter was .. he and several other waiters were leaning over a computer checking their farm.. incredible… it was like everyone in the resturant was checking their farm regularly.

I started noticing that everywhere I was going.. I would see people checking their QQ Happy Farm.. shopkeepers, mall walkers on their cell phones, in tea houses, massage parlors.. and even bars.. all were totally obsessed with this farm.  I even saw my husband join a heated conversation on how to move up the levels faster by making two accounts and stealing from yourself.  They were hunting for ways to cheat on the farm.

It seemed like the entire city was sucked into this farm virtual world.  I just could not see what the hook was.  They are not high tech graphics.. or even that realistic looking.  I did not want to farm in real life so why would I want to do it in a virtual world?

When I saw people with animals on their farm that were not even farm animals.. I said that is it.. you people have lost it… there are no Koalas, or Herons, or monkeys on a damn farm.   And some of the fruits, vegetables and flowers in their garden .. I had never seen before in my life.   Since when do you plant coconut trees on your farm…? Huh? They were just getting a little too carried away in this town.

As my husband and I sat watching the news on night.. (me really watching literally, because I cannot understand the Chinese that well yet) after he checked his farm of course, we noticed a report about millions of QQ farm players complaining.   Get this.. they were complaining that the cost of the vegetable seeds on the farm went up.. and the cost of land was too high.. and they wanted the prices reduced.   WHAT!.. can you believe this .. on the national news they were talking about the rising cost of QQ farm vegetables… !!!

I knew then that China had totally lost it… the entire country was focusing on the economic situation of a pretend online farm.  What the hell .. was going on?

When my husband called me at work .. from the road to tell me to check his farm.. his pineapple were ready… I decided this was the last straw… I was going to find out what this farm thing was all about.

So.. although it was in Chinese.. I signed in and started my own farm.   Just to see what the big deal was… at once I could see all my QQ friends’ farms.. they were on levels 30 to 45 .. very high .. compared to the level 1 that I had just started… I felt compelled to increase my level to equal theirs.. I did not want to look like I was out of the loop you know?

After a couple of days… I found my self.. wanting to add animals to my farm like the others… and checking my farm hourly.. to see if I could steal from them… and make more money to make my farm bigger… I began small .. but slowly started building up my farm so that I was now adding cows… I felt a sense of accomplishment… I found myself.. checking my farm throughout the work day… I even got up early to see if I could beat everyone else .. and steal their animals and crops before they woke up.   I could just see their faces.. when they saw I had stolen their things.

WwwaaAhhh HAAAHAAA…. I am determined to have the largest farm in the land.. .even if I have to steal from all my friends and husband to do it… When they stoled back from me.. I was upset.. actually could not sleep… wanting to get them back..and destroy their farms in return… what the heck was happening to me?… I was just as obsessed with this farm thing as they all were.. .what was it… ?  What have they done to this game to make it so addicting…

I don’t know… what it is… but .. I do not have time now to research it any further.. my ducks are laying eggs and I need to get them before those .. thieves steal them all….ducks ain’t cheap you know… the prices get higher everyday.. the damn government needs to do something…about that.  A farm woman cannot make a decent living anymore… shesh..

Oh.. if you want to check out the game and join in.. http://www.QQzone.com .. and QQ is similar to facebook.. and is in Chinese.. however.. you can download an English version… I do not know what it is.. but .. you just need to grow something.

until next time….

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