What’s up friendereenos?
Enjoying Level 39? Got characters on long-o quests? Finished? Salivating for what’s next? Somewhere in between?
I’m that last question but enjoying the new level. All the tapping and the coincidental recent earning of E.A.R.L. (Best. Neighbors. Ever.) has me in a blissful mood and I felt like rambling about happiness.
Last week reader SteveCTTW had a great comment about happiness which sparked some good replies. I don’t like to summarize people so here it is…
“Personally I’ve been really enjoying level 39. I’ve been reading a lot of negativity online regarding our latest level (and pretty much every other update), and quite frankly it annoys me. I’m always happy when new content pops up. I’m sick of these entitled, whiny bastards complaining about being unsatisfied with -place update here- . This is a freemium game in which EA owes you nothing. If you want something, then pay the money for it. If you can’t afford it at this time, save up for it. They’re a business doing this to make money. If they choose to add a much coveted character for donuts, that’s good business. It’s not a charity. It’s business!”
This comment and the responses got me thinking, what about TSTO makes me happy? Generally, I’m a pretty pleasant guy so is it something about me that keeps me blissful about the game or is it my viewpoint? Hmmmm… let me think.
First off… TSTO is a game about The Simpsons. I love love love the Simpsons. Watching episodes is always fun and getting to play a game where I have Simpsons fun every day… Epic. Just the subject alone probably is enough for this Wookiee’s happiness.
Level 39 brought Manjula and Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon. While I don’t remember any clamor for Apu’s brother, folks have been talking about Manjula for quite a while. I hate to be a debby downer but here’s a fact. The more we all let EA know that we want something on the assorted social media available, the more likely it is that when they do give it to us, it will cost money. Thankfully, this time it was only 160 donuts. Realizing this is still about ten bucks, it could have been much worse. Case in point, prices for Miss Springfield and Barney. Keeping that in mind, I think it’s only fair to let you know that if Crazy Cat Lady ever enters the game, someone at EA has argued she should be premium. Like SteveCTTW said, it’s just business.
Alright… discussions of freemium vs. premium are decidedly not happy for every one. I wish there was more free stuff too. Even though I could rush all the friend prizes if I wanted, I earned them the hard way and how cool is the E.A.R.L. lighthouse? Even forgetting the hilarious episode it came from, it just fits in to the water of my town quite nicely. I used it to dot the “i” in my Squidport aka Wookieeport and enjoying seeing it spell EARL in Morse code when tapped.
New stuff and designing certainly makes me happy. I’m a sucker for anything new for SqP or Krustyland and we got new stuff there too!
Defining happiness is actually a lot more complex than you might think. I found all sorts of great stuff via Oogle ranging from ancient Greek philosophers to Confucianism and Buddhism (your welcome Lisa) to Utiliatarianism and modern Christianity. It’s fair to say that one of the pursuits of humans has always been to be happy. To make this topical, an Indian thinker named Patanjuli wrote exhaustively about the state of bliss and its pyschological and ontological roots. Shout out to the interweb!
NERD NOTE: Ontology is defined as the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.
While geeking about happiness and giggling to myself that this was all for a post about a mobile game, I came across this great happiness acronym asserted by Psychologist Martin Seligman. The acronym is “PERMA” and suggests that humans are the happiest when they have:
1. Pleasure (tasty food, warm baths, etc.),
2. Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity),
3. Relationships (social ties have turned out to be extremely reliable indicator of happiness),
4. Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger), and
5. Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals).
I figured I’d use this to see why I’m always such a blissful ninny when it comes to TSTO. So first is pleasure. I think I kind of covered this. TSTO is fun and I have fun while playing. Add to that all the great people I’ve met and interact with via social media and it’s even better. Happiness step one with a big check.
Engagement. Well, the easiest way to stay engaged is new content. Sure I’d like new stuff all the time but I have felt pretty engaged in the game consistently. Level 39, episode tie-ins, Valentine’s Day, St. Paddy’s Day, friend points. Of course, what keeps someone interested is up to them but between the game and of course this blog, I give this a big double check.
Relationships. I mentioned I have met some of the Best. People. Ever. through this game. Friendships that will last well beyond the life expectancy of TSTO. I think my happiness about TSTO is definitely flavored by the positive attitudes of the folks I choose to surround myself with.
Meaning. Hmmmm… this one might be hard to figure out but I guess I just have to decide what impact I was looking for when I started playing this game in October of 2012. I wanted something to do in my spare time. Yup. I wanted to see The Simpsons and smile, maybe even laugh. Absolutely. I wanted Simpsons Halloween stuff. Done and done. I really had no other expectations so I’m good. We’re not gonna change the world one tap at a time. Find meaning in other things, TSTO can be your break from that.
Accomplishments. Well, you tap on the game, you gain XP, you build stuff, you set tasks, you earn limited things. While not the accomplishments you want to hang on your office wall next to that fancy schmancy degree, they are accomplishments. Nothing sweeter than a friend giving you a “woo hoo” for finally earning that last prize.
Well, it seems TSTO satisfies all those criteria and maybe I’m happy because of it. While writing, what I really realized is it’s all the extras besides the game that have made it what it is for me. TOuk, adipose live streams, finding TSTO blogs and then becoming a blogger myself. All the readers and friends and dare I say it freaders? Yes it’s a silly game that is “life ruiningly fun”. Yes I find myself addicted. Yes I enjoy how much of a time suck it is sometimes. I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
We all know those people that never seem to be happy. Give them a piece of heaven and it’s not good enough because it’s only a percentage of the pie. They didn’t want roses, they like tulips, the service is too slow, the food too whatever. The best thing about happiness is you get to decide whether you are or not. External sources have an impact but only we can shape our opinions. While I would never endorse bliss at the expense of reality, the true reality of TSTO is it’s just a game you get to choose to play or not. If it really makes you truly unhappy, my best advice is to stop and find something else. As far as I’m concerned, I’m like cookiee monster in a Keebler tree and a wookie in a Cheetos factory when I’m tapping or rambling about it. I choose to be happy. Just for fun, here’s some other random thoughts on happiness before I sign off.
– A smile is happiness you can find right under your nose (my happiness is bearded)
– Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.
– “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
– Money can’t buy happiness, but I’ve heard crying in a Lamborghini is much more cathartic.
– When you smile about the life you live, you end up living a life worth smiling about.
– In the latest episode, “Luca$”, wise guy the mechanic offers this quote from Oscar Wilde: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
– When interweb searching for happiness, don’t start off with a famous Beatles song.
– A fact of life, after monday and tuesday, even the calendar says W T F
– Maybe it’s not the game… maybe it’s you?
Y’all stay classy… TTFN… Wookiee out!