One of the most interesting aspects of having a blog that is truly international is the fact that the readers are…well…truly international! It’s an amazing fact to know that TSTO blogs like this are read in more than 110 countries around the world. Yes, there are surely “pockets of extreme tapperage” going on in certain locations (New Jersey as Blog Central comes to mind), but there is far more to this particular update than meets the eye at first (or even second or third) glance.
There is a certain irony that we are being tasked to send travelers across the globe in our games while actual world travel is becoming a “bit more complicated” to put it nicely. But as always, we will leave the politics to other radicalized sources of propaganda (FaceBook), and celebrate the amazing diversity of players/readers we have here.
I will let far greater minds than mine make the point of how travelling the world helps you find compassion and understanding of those you may fear or otherwise not understand. The Dali Lama has an amazing piece on this very thing…
I do believe that most of our bias against other cultures comes primarily from fear and ignorance. And, there is nothing better than actually traveling to a different place to experience their lives and culture, to help you realize that no matter where you are in the world, we have far more in common than the minutia that separates us.
To me…one of the most amazing “FREEMIUM” prizes was the globe. Every tap is a reminder of some place the Simpsons have traveled to, or experienced an event in which they related to international travelers or visitors (and yes…Kang and Kodos are both visitors while attaining permanent residence status in our Springfields).
I sat for an entire hour spinning the globe…and gobbling up the facts it spit out. It may have repeated the cycle…because I also went into a deep trance in my mind (something that happens more and more with old age) as I played a mental game of “I’ve been there…” or “I want to go there!!” as the globe spit our random Simpsonian Facts.
As simple as the Simpsons seem to be…with a fairly limited cultural pallet from the head of the family (“do they have Duff in India??), Homer and the family really get around! I am not sure why the TSTO writer/programmers chose to go to France, Japan, Brazil, Denmark, and Italy…but Homer and company have clearly been to what seems like hundreds of other locations around the world (or…like I said…I dozed off and kept repeating cycles).
There are countless places I want to go…but was equally surprised to realize how many places I HAVE been to. My list includes…
- 42 of the 50 United State (just missing a couple of random Eastern Seaboard states and two in the deep South)
- The Netherlands
- Germany (West and East)
- Czechoslovakia (before it was split up)
- Canada (several flavors thereof)
And at the top of my Bucket List of WANNA GO THERE…
- Africa (Uganda where we do our work for Buyijja)
- New Zealand
- Antarctica (before it melts)
- Greenland (before it melts)
And then I start the “Well…if I am going to go all of the way to Japan, I might as well go to Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam…” And then started feeling guilty for the countries that didn’t make my “A List.”
But you get it.
I have never felt more strongly about the feeling that the world needs far fewer borders…and far more cross-cultural exchange of ideas than at this point in history. I have never felt more strongly that lifting up the lowliest of nations in the world only strengthens our overall chances for happiness and survival. But, then again…I’m old…and tired…and very afraid of returning to a time when nothing felt stable, or safe, because we allowed our fears and ignorance to overtake our compassion and common sense.
Whoa. Wait a minute. It’s just a game. Right? And with the tap of our padular divices, we can go anywhere we want. Right?
But even more important, is getting out in the world…to be part of the greater community of humanity. Tell us where YOU have traveled in your lifetime…and where YOU Would like to visit!
You know we LOVE to hear from you! Especially those from far-off lands (which is kind of a relative statement…as anywhere but “Here” is far off!).