There is little doubt, that EA has moved into a new “Era of the Grind.”
One might ask “what is grinding?” To which I would reply, “Hold on…I’ll tell you a soon as I clear all of my Agency Headquarters tasks.”
There are loads of definitions of the word “Grindingm” and some of which are actually clean enough to post here on a family site (I’ll wait, while you go and Google the Urban Dictionary version…).
1.(of a state) oppressive, tedious, and seemingly without end.
2. (of a sound or motion) harsh and grating. “the group’s grinding, ear-splitting guitar”
Yeah…that sounds about right. Tedious tapping, while your phone blows through a symphonic cacophony of sounds.
Oh…and for those of you who looked up the urban dictionary versions…I can assure you that this article will NOT be covering any aspect of THAT kind of grinding.
No…this is all about a combination of definitions #1 and #2, which could be morphed into the REAL definition as it applies to TSTO, which is…
When EA allows their EALPish (EALazyassProgrammers) staff to do longer and longer main events, with shorter and shorter Quest Tasks and Dialogue, leaving us with a series of repetitive actions that slowly but surely move from “playing” the game to having the “game play us.”
Come on. Admit it. You set your timers for a four hour cycle…and are both happy that it is EAsy to “get everything” with a couple of basic tapping actions that take no more than a minute or two, and can actually be accomplished while doing almost anything else (I say almost…because it is still not advised to Grind and Drive. Pull over…it’s only takes a couple of minutes!).
If you are like most TSTO Addicts, when the game calls…you jump, BECAUSE it only takes a couple of minutes. So, yes…I have been “Guilty Of Grinding” (GOG) in situations that could otherwise expose me as a true addict of TSTO, without any real control over my actions.
Here are some recent examples of my own GOGing…and these are just the ones I remember.
At least five instances of being in a meeting with someone and saying, “Oh…hold on…I need to respond to this text…it’s my Mother.”
Now, I know what you are all saying. “How can you lie about your mother like that??” Well, the fact is, my Mom is 85, and she DOES call me all of the time to help her “fix her Google.” This means that she can’t log in to get to “the FaceBook” so she can find the picture that my niece posted of the my grand-neice putting baby powder on the dog…so she can print it…several times…and send copies of it to her friends by snail mail. This is only less funny by the fact that this is all true…and happened yesterday. When I asked why she doesn’t just forward the pictures to her friends, she replied “I think it is more personal to send a letter…I don’t like printing out emails…they take too long to print and read.” But, I digress…
The fact is…until they came up with this new form of Grinding in the Surveillance Post, which requires you to tap wildly, and randomly all over your screen for 20 seconds…pretending that you were just replying to a text, was EAsy. Now…if you use that excuse, it looks like you are REALLY ANGRY with your mother. And let’s be honest…even someone who has to take 3-5 “Fix my Google” calls a day shouldn’t be THAT angry with his mother.
So, yes, using the “I have to return this text,” routine to GOG, has become a little more dangerous. Especially when you are in the middle of a presentation at your local Rotary Club, and the alarm starts going off (silent vibrating) in your front pocket…and you KNOW you shouldn’t answer it…but also know it will take less than a minute to answer. And so, you decide to “GIVE IN TO THE GOG (GITTGOG) and actually try to complete the Grinding Cycle, WHILE continuing your presentation on the latest activities of “Friends of Buyijja.”
I know. I acted on impulse…not common sense.
This takes the kind of concentration that really far surpasses most athletic achievements, because it requires you to use the “pat your tummy while rubbing your head” exercise that was fun when you were kid (you can also do the ADVANCED version of rub your tummy left-handed while tapping your head right handed) a kind of brain over physical reaction.
This actual GOG event was at the EXPERT GOG LEVEL (don’t try this at home without supervision) and required technical skills, some “sleight of hand” and a whole lot of luck.
Here’s the play-byplay.
As my cell phone alarm began buzzing (and the buzzer on the iPhone 6s+ is REALLY obvious when wedged into your front pants pocket), I was in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation on the drought conditions in the village we sponsor in Buyijja. I didn’t panic. I kept talking, but did the “Turn and Look At The Screen” move, to emphasize and draw attention to what I was talking about (all of the best Ted Talks presenters use this one). As I turned, I reached into my pocket, and simultaneously hit the button to turn off the alarm, and set the phone on the lectern in front of me.
Now, turning back to the crowd, I appeared to reach for my computer to jog the next slide, but in fact was doing that with the mouse in my left hand, as I tapped the TSTO icon on my phone with my right hand. It takes a couple of seconds to open, including another tap to get through the log-in…but I didn’t miss a beat.
Now this is where it gets tricky. A ROOKIE GOGer would not be able to do the 13-15 taps it takes to clear the Security Center of tasks, and then start the next 4-hour cycle, without ALSO instinctively tapping the mouse/PowerPoint slide controller 15 times at the same time ( I do NOT recommend this when giving a presentation, unless you mistakenly had random pictures “of a personal nature” inserted into your Power Point and need to cycle through them). But, no worries…I am completely ambidextrous due to guitar and piano training that requires one hand to do something while the other does something completely different. But, I admittedly DID do it in time to a Beat…tapping 12 times with my right hand quickly, while shuffling through 3 slides of the kids gathering water, on the “Downbeat” of what turned out to be three, 4/4 measures. (Are you starting to see why my wife doesn’t ask me “how did your day go?” anymore?).
So…GOG Part One was EAsy. But now…the damnable part II of the 4-hour Grind…Doing the Drone Surveillance and clearing the bad guys in 20 seconds was looming.
I knew I had a section of the presentation coming up that was going to make this one EAsy. But, I was still about a minute away. I launched into the “Why we Give” part of the Uganda presentation…keeping an eye on my phone to make sure it didn’t go into “sleep mode” and require another log-in. I got up to the “many ways that people can donate”…and finally…victory was mine! I got to the part where I play the music video of my wife’s class singing the song I wrote about Buyijja…and I knew that all eyes were on the screen as the kids sang, and video of the kids in the Buyijja School singing “Peace, Hope, Love” melted their hearts. I looked down at my phone, grabbed it, and did the “Mad/Crazy/Tapping the Screen Wildly” bit required to get 30-40 bad guys…put the phone back in my pocket and turned to the crowd, just as I was finishing….as I struggled to wipe the smug smile from my face.
GOGing…like a PRO.
Yes…there was one lady in the front row who gave me a “what in the hell are you doing” look, who was at just the right angle to see what I was doing to my phone. But, hey…there were like 75 people in the room…and I figured if she was bold enough to ASK what I was doing, I’d just tell her that my Mom was texting me about “the Google” and I lost it.
Look. I’m not proud of my GOGing. It just is what it is. And we GOG because we “WANT EVERYTHING.” Hell…I don’t even remember what the prizes are anymore. I just know that I’m going to grab my phone every 4 hours and tap a for a minute or less (some of these GOG events can be done in less than 30 seconds if you are rEAlly concentrating), and I WILL get everything…whatever that is.
Are aware of your own GOGing? Is GOGing a part of your daily life? Have you been able to fight off the urge to go look up the Urban Definition of Grinding? Do you now want to wash your eyes out with soapy water?
OK. Back to work. I only have a few more minutes until my phone goes off again.