Hey hey hey fellow Addicts. Here we are in the third Act of an event all about gambling in the City of Simp-sin,Vegasfield, insert clever name here, and I have to say I’m loving the event. Slots, craps, poker… and the best part is I’m not losing money or killing my liver with free drinks. Good old wholesome fun for the whole family over the age of 21 lol. Of course, gambling isn’t always fun and the first thing I thought about was Marge’s gambling addiction in “$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)” (S5:E10). Is it any surprise that Marge considered the effects of gambling addiction and started her own meeting?
As we jokingly named this site TSTO Addicts because of how much we played and spent time on the game, I found this connection interesting. Heck… I thought the site name so funny I created a goofy twelve step program (sorry Marge… 12 is the name of the game) just for compulsive players like myself. Well, here we are about three and a half years into one of the funnest games I’ve ever played and it’s time for another TSTO Anonymous meeting. I figured we’d take a look at addiction in what I hope is a fun way.
Addiction. Psychology Today defines it as “a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.”
Wowza… kind of makes me rethink holding this meeting. I don’t want to be a bummer or make you think hard about visiting a site called TSTO Addicts. Are we really a bunch of compulsive tappers with out of control behavior? I hope not and to keep things light, I thought it might be fun to look at the way this portable device town-building game is advertised to analyze it’s addictive properties which were advertised right from the beginning of the journey and just provide my random thoughts.
First, this video sums up so much about the game. It’s discussion of addiction is tongue and cheek but you gotta love Simpsons animation about us.
Too funny. I never get tired of sharing this video. Like I said above, the signs of possible addiciton appear right when you first view the app in your respective store. Here’s what the Oogle play and Mapple App Store has to say about the game:
THIS GAME IS LIFE-RUININGLY FUN! Homer accidently caused a meltdown that wiped out Springfield. D’OH! Now, it’s up to you to rebuild it! From the writers of The Simpsons, tap into a city building game that lets you create your own living, breathing Springfield… for FREE.
The first taste is free, right? I laugh when I read that but it’s basically true. Right from go you start building and pseudo-designing. There’s even a mission to get you to spend donuts to rush something. What a rush, it’s faster. That’s what life seems to be about too much these days. Faster. Quicker. Now. Are we there yet? Look mom, the line is only fifteen minutes, let’s go now! But the pitch doesn’t stop there, there’s a whole itemized list for anyone who didn’t immediately download the game because it’s The Simpsons.
HOW FUN IS IT? LET US COUNT THE WAYS! (I really want to say one one thousand, two one thousand like Roger Rabbit whenever I hear lines like this. Not surprising it’s set up like the beginning of familiar cheesy love poems. You’re prepared to love this game. Addiction is no fun if you hate the way it makes you feel.)
1. First, you can get it for free!
I think we covered this. Now, now now, gimme, gimme, gimme, oooh that hits the spot, now I want more.
2. Make Springfield just like you want it.
What could go wrong in a world that’s completely in your control until you realize this isn’t completely true and like all life, there are certain parameters to be followed and rules that you can’t coerce into being other than they are. You can’t always get what you want, but you can try sometimes… and you get what you need. Sorry… had a little Rolling Stones moment. I guess in the end my Springfield is how I want it to be. If it wasn’t, I’d change it like the four redesigns I’ve already done. I may be due for another in the future but time will tell.
3. Help Homer find Marge, Bart, Lisa, and the rest of his family and friends! (Ned Flanders, too.)
Pretty self explanatory. Weird to think there was a time you couldn’t earn all of Homer’s family. Now there’s not the Maggie drug to aspire to, I guess all that’s left is Chip Davis and the demise of all things addictive if you believe the doomsdayers. This line is straight forward and true.
4. Complete tasks to earn… mmm, donuts!
Here we go… at this point you have no clue that donuts is the acceptable currency to get most of the cool stuff. There’s no warning that they cost hard-earned money. It’s just a salivatory treat that you hopefully know are synonymous with one Homer Jay Simpson. It’s later that the TSTO pusher man will explain the importance of premium currency. Mmmm… empty bank account.
5. Make Apu work ridiculously long shifts at Kwik-E-Mart.
I guess if you have something against Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon, this might sound like something fun and sadistic to do on a regular basis. Any fan of the show worth their salt probably knows that Apu likes to work a lot though so it’s not necessary to read to much into this. 168 hours is a riduclously long time though. Apu Beaumarchais is a work addict though. Maybe there’s something there?
6. Grow and harvest Tomacco on Cletus’s Farm.
Oooh… Tomacco. Now there’s a crop culled from the TV Series that should immediately bring addiciton to mind. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with rampaging animals addicted to the crop. All we have to do is grow it on Cletus’ farm. Speaking of, do people even grow stuff there anymore?
7. Party down with Duffman at Duff Brewery.
Alcohol addiction… check. We all know Homer and the barflys and Moe and alcohol and shenanigans in the Best. Show. Ever. Oh yeah! I’m seeing a theme of addictive things already. Red flags abound. I’m also thinking there’s probably a great term paper about this subject buried within the show but that’s something for another day not related to this site. For now we can just party down… nothing bad ever happens at a party, right?
8. See how your Indolence, Consumerism,and Gluttony stack up on the Conform-o-meter.
I don’t know why but whenever I think of this meter, I always think of the 7 deadly sins. I’m not about to get preachy but none of these mentioned values brings positive images to my brain. They do intrigue me though and I think the hook is fairly set by this point for any fish thinking of downloading the app. Conform to the app, play the app, love the app.
9. Enjoy exclusive animated scenes sure to please fans of TV’s longest-running comedy.
Exclusive? If you weren’t hooked yet, this should be the big bang that starts your universe. We all like to have something others don’t. Why else would appeal to the masses fallacies be so effective? I like feeling special… I get it. Here’s the thing… we are all unique just like everyone else. TSTO has been downloaded by millions of people. We are the o.ooo3% lol.
10. Visit your friends’ Springfields, play pranks, collect cash and earn special rewards with friendship points the only way to measure your friendship.
Friends sounds nice. There’s a community. Good fences make good neighbors and all that fun stuff.
11. Build up entirely new sections of Springfield from the rides at Krustyland to the performers on the Waterfront!
Whether you like them or not, Squidport and Krustyland were advertised right from the get go. By this point in the list, I’m pretty excited for the game although I have to admit I never even read this before downloading this life-sucking game on my android phone in October 2012. They had me at Simpsons.
12. And did we mention… it’s free to play?
The perfect bookend. It’s free. Lots of fun at no expense to you. The life-ruiningly fun thing has to be a joke. Just a new game you’ll probably play for a while until the next city-builder game appears to draw your attention elsewhere. And here we are after how much time?
SPRINGFIELD NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD
With HD graphics – you’ll get an eyeful of greener greens, yellower yellows, and more.
IS THAT ALL? Of course not! Did you know that you can even play this game in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Russian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Turkish and Brazilian Portuguese?
But who wants to read all this text on a screen? So you should CHECK OUT THE SCREENSHOTS because the screenshots really sell it… even though we really don’t have to sell this game… because it’s FREE!
And it’s not just for elitist Americans. The whole world can play and become addicted to the game. Heck… three strangers who met on an internet site about the game might even start a website and write helpful things to get you through it all. You might run into the most interesting people who are playing the game while you go about your normal life. You might chat online with folks from different time zones and locales. You might create art in your town or unique designs and share the photos. Your whole family could play the game together. High definition fun, fun, fun and it’s free, free, free.
Don’t worry Ned… we already did. I don’t know about you but I’m sold and it didn’t take long before this game had me by the scruffy parts. I enjoy the heck out of this silly mobile game and I know I’m not alone in that. Sure we have a Vegas event currently and sure it takes time to do stuff in the game but that’s why we have sites like this to help out, and share thoughts, and do whatever it is we do here. The whole point is having a safe and friendly community where you can be you and enjoy a silly mobile game.
Now for the serious part. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something about true addiction. I sincerely hope this game doesn’t keep people from important things, doesn’t take money aways from necessities or bills, doesn’t impact relationships in a harmful way. If it does… stop playing. I’ve met a few people who couldn’t hack the obsessiveness of the game and thank Jebus, they stopped before doing any crazy damage that I know of. This is supposed to be fun. When it’s not… you’re done or you take a break. Premium things are nice if you can afford them but there’s tons to enjoy about this game without hurting the bank account. I genuinely care about folks who visit this site so if you really are truly addicted, maybe it’s time to have a heart to heart or intervention or something. It’s a game and real life is much more important.
Well, that was an interesting journey. Sorry to end on a down note but it had to be said. My name is Joe “The Wookiee” Riot and I am a member of TSTO Addicts. I love this game but balance playing it and blogging about it as responsibly as I can with the real world. Homer and the gang can wait when priorities come knocking at the door. I truly hope it’s the same for you and I’m always having a blast enjoying the piss out of this game with like-minded individuals. Now to wonder if this whole enterprise was me completing Marge’s 8 hour task IRL.
What are your thoughts? Did you ever read the app store advertising? Think about how you balance mobile gaming/online stuff with your real life? Why did you start playing? How are you liking the event? Did Marge’s dialogue make you laugh like me? Share your thoughts or ramble about whatever. I’m off to homework and other work and life and stuff. We end this meeting as we usually do with the TSTO Anon Serenity Prayer.
“EA, grant me the serenity to accept the updates I cannot change, the courage to recommend the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Much love… TTFN… Wookiee out!