Thank Grog It’s Firday!!
The entire debate about donut/vehicle farming comes at a really ironic point in my life. I am a little more than two months away from my 64th birthday. Yes. I am THAT old. Too young to get full Social Security, and still a year away from Medicare. But, one of my marketing clients, who is a financial planner, had me do a series of podcasts about “planning for retirement.” Man…did I learn a lot.
Mostly, I learned that I am NOWHERE NEAR being able to retire anytime soon. I won’t bore you with the multitude of reasons, but suffice it to say, that being self-employed for most of my life has been a roller coaster, and “pension” is a word that never really entered the equation. So…I will do everything I can now, to maximize my earning/saving potential (after I pay for two more weddings…), and hope that I live long enough to benefit from my work.
That’s kind of like the whole recent debate about XP Bonuses and Donut/Vehicle farming. The analogy is really a good one. The earlier you start, and the more disciplined you are, the better your “golden years” are going to be. Which of course is all relative, as none of us knows how long we will actually live, or how long TSTO will actually continue…rendering either argument or game plan completely moot!
That said…Here is my rough take on the best way to “Play Either Game.”
This whole thing started in the XP/TSTO world when I became agitated with those who keep bragging about being at XP levels in the thousands, and having hundreds, if not thousands (or tens of thousands) of donuts accumulated. It is not unlike the feeling I get when one of my friends at the country club starts talking about going on a two-month trip, because they have more retirement income than they know what to do with.
I get it. In BOTH cases, those who are sitting on a ton of wealth, made good decisions EARLY in life (unless they inherited their wealth or hit some jackpot later). The average person is going to need at LEAST $500K invested, and another estimated $300K-$600K for health care supplements, to live modestly in retirement.
Statistics say that less than 10% of those in the 50-65 year-old category have close to that number, with 20-30% not even having $20K invested. Yes…many were gutted by the recession in 2008-2009, but many others simply didn’t earn enough to put tens of thousands away.
The average TSTO player is sitting somewhere between a 200%-$400 Bonus Multiplier, and has between $5 Million and $20 Million in game cash. Not anywhere NEAR enough to just waltz into the 1,000% bracket of earning.
In either case, you are late to the game…and will have to work REALLY hard to make up for the deficiencies before you: A. Croak B. The Game Ends.
Croaking, or the end of TSTO (EA pulls the server plug) is almost completely out of our control. Yes…we can do the things that could prolong our lives, but you can’t know when a piece of space junk, with your name on it, may find you walking down the street, while you’re checking your IRA fund statement. You also can’t know when EA is simply going to say, “We aren’t making enough on this” and just pull the plug. They do this stuff all of the time.
So…where does that leave us in the “Best Method for Happy Tapping/Life?”
Here’s the rub… accumulating wealth, or XP Bonus/Donuts takes time. Lots and lots of time. To all of you “Farmers” out there who have reached quadruple digits, good for you. But, you spent a TON of time getting there. The math is clear on this. You burned through loads of “Life Currency.” Unless you cheated.
And in either case, TIME and the VALUE OF TIME (Life Currency), is really at the bottom line of affixing worth to either equation.
Let’s look at both scenarios…
In life…the REAL risk, is that you didn’t spend enough time earning, saving, and investing to insure that your “golden years” (which are increasing in duration with each generation) will be free of financial worry. Maybe you spent too much time watching TV, or playing mobile games. Or blogging about them. This is why more and more people are working longer, even into their 70s, so that they don’t have to worry about being cash-strapped in their 80s. Great. If you live that long.
Is there value in living a life of “moderation” that is full of actions and experiences that give you pleasure and contentment? Heck yes…as long as you can afford it. Moderation in ALL things is good. Too much of anything is obsessive, and runs the risk of ruining the good stuff in life. As was joked about in a recent “Tracey Ullman’s Show,” nobody on their death bed really says, “I wish I would have played more Candy Crush!”
Insert TSTO into that last line.
So…when you are giving up hours, days, months and years, in order to “earn” inflated XP, donuts, and digital baubles, at the expense of doing something more worthwhile, productive and life-enhancing, you are really shortchanging what you could be receiving in the Real World. And this is all completely at the pleasure of a giant electronic game company, who will ultimately “kill” your town, and everything you have in it…rendering ALL of the time/money spent, a futile pursuit of nothingness.
BUT, WE DO GET SOMETHING OUT OF THIS GAME!!! Right?
At least those of us here, have a sense of community and fellowship gained by being part of a larger whole. We do get some pleasure in tapping (less and less recently), and there is some weird sense of fulfillment in building/designing your towns, that is better than spending your life doing crosswords or Sudoku games. We have something to show for it…until we don’t.
Look…I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. I don’t really KNOW most of you…outside of what we share here…which isn’t all that much. But, what I am trying to say, is that life is just best when it is full, and rich, and offers a variety of pleasures, entertainment and opportunities. It is enriched by doing things for others, and widening the horizons of experiences, to take advantage of all life has to give. That can easily be lost when we become obsessed with “one thing,” at the expense of other things.
So…while you are collecting your next 100 XP Bonus percentages (including all of the work/donuts/time it takes to get there), don’t forget to live life. And while you are planning for your future…don’t forget to enjoy the NOW. Having a secure future is greatly enhanced by enjoying the road you travel to get to that goal. Right?
To me…the ones who REALLY win at the game of life, do so by using up all of their resources, at the exact time the “timer goes off” to end the game. You can’t take it with you…so make sure you spend it wisely. And if all else fails, one of your kids will let you build a “tiny house” in their back yard…and let you live there, as long as you mow the lawn and take out the trash. Hey…it’s a fall-back…right?
What I do know…is that that EA is going to have to work hard to keep me interested in spending much more time than I do right now. Having a thousand donuts, with nothing of value to spend them on, is not “winning.” Having a million in real dollars in the bank, earned at the sacrifice of ENJOYING life, is also not “winning.”
Tap smart. Live wide. Find balance and moderation in everything you do.