Thank Grog It’s Firday,
Well…after a record setting period of “Lulliness,” EA has rewarded us with something clearly meant to be released weeks ago, and is now weirdly late, but also comes with all of the bugginess we have come to expect. In other words…it’s a SNAFU all over again. (For those not of military backgrounds…Situation Normal All F’d Up).
Back to “normal” in so many ways…
We got a mini update with bugs. We have people freaking out about the “fairness” of some people getting free characters that others had to earn/purchase/farm for. We have people losing it over the server disconnects, and the fact that EA only “fixed” the Kindle problem back through the more recent versions of Kindles.
And then…right on cue…we have the “This Neighbor Tagged Me” freakouts back to tattling on those who purposefully or accidentally “vandalized” their towns.
I can’t do much about most of this…but I do have what I consider to be the “Final Word” on “bigbabytaggerwhiners.”
Get. A. Life.
Actually, if you are counting, that is three words…but just one phrase.
I’ve been blogging about this game for almost 6 years. There are days when I look back, and realize that even after all of this time, it is still a “guilty, hidden secret” to most of the people I know. If it wasn’t for the work we do in Uganda, many people would not have heard about TSTO and the community of players who have supported this venture since 2014. And they sure as hell wouldn’t know that I play a silly, mobile game, almost every 4 hours.
For the most part, I am able to explain to people who give me a sideways smirk when I talk about TSTO, that it is played by a huge range of people, including many regular friends who are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and active participants in life…not just “gamer types” whose lives revolve around gaming, and not living a fuller, rich life.
I want to believe this. I really do. And, for the most part, it’s true. I have actual friends…real live people…many of whom I have met through this game. I treasure my relationship with Alissa, Joe and Safi. But it is in part, because we all feel the same levels of “Oh…dear…GOD!!” when the players lose their heads over some problem in the game.
Ironically, it is those of us who dedicate so much more of our lives to the game than the players, who actually are able to keep things in perspective, and celebrate the REST of our lives together. We understand that it is indeed, just a game.
But at some point…you have to say, “Enough!!!!!” and put a policy into effect, just to save your own soul from rattling into that realm of darkness when you get so frustrated with the human condition, that you want to drive into the woods and never come back.
And that is what I am doing now…
This is my own policy. It is not endorsed by management (Alissa), but I suspect she won’t stop me from enforcing it. From this point forward, any comment about “Vandalizing” or tattling on someone who does, will be deleted. Period.
Why? Because after all of this time…the obsessive, weird, picayune, whack-job antics of someone who is so controlling and anti-social, needs to be expunged.
The argument about “Righteousness” and a “Five Star Rating” is over folks. There is nothing “Righteous” about calling out a fellow player, because your sacred five stars may slip for a couple of days. Let me make this clear…THE WHOLE THING IS A MYTH! Your neighbors “tagging you” has no lasting effect on your game. NONE.
Want proof? Here it is.
This past week…on Friday to be exact…I was tagged profusely by number of my favorite neighbors. I have loads who tag…but they usually hit sporadically. In this case, I was tagged relentlessly for a couple of days. The result? I lost a couple of “Righteousness” stars. Boo hoo!
I loved it. These days, with huge lulls, and disconnection issues, you REALLY have to want to tag someone to take the time to do so. And boy…did they. Nothing says “I care” like taking the time to personally hunt down the buildings that can be tagged, and then tag three of them. And incidentally, one of my “worst taggers” is also one of our largest (if not THE largest) regular donor to our work in Uganda. As in thousands of dollars over the years…
So, do I get all whacked out when I see her tag me? No. To the contrary, my heart is warmed by her effort to say “hello” over the thousands of miles that separate us physically.
So…yes…I also lost some of my “Bonus Percentage.” This is the primary argument from the BigBabyTaggerWhiners. “YOU ARE COSTING ME BONUS PERCENTAGE!!!!”
Did I panic? Did I instantly go and buy a crap-ton of “Training Walls” to offset my dip in stars???
I just waited. Because I knew that within 4-5 days, no matter what else happened, the stars would reset...and I’d be back to full “Righteousness.” They always do!!!!! They always have…they always will!!!
And yes…like clockwork on Tuesday… BOOM. Righteous again.
What did I lose? ONE HALF OF A PERCENT OF BONUS.
Not 5%. But .5%…almost nothing at all. ONE HALF OF A PERCENT! And how did it effect my donut/KEM farming? Not one bit.
It is tantamount to someone spilling a drop of “Cherry Squishy” on a newly washed car. It. Just. Doesn’t. Matter. Get. Over. It!
Frankly…about 99% of what is wrong in this world, comes from people who are so rigid in their views, that they can’t allow others to just live their lives. I can’t control the politically obsessed types who have nothing more to do in their lives than whine over semantics. But, I CAN control comments…on a blog…about a silly little game…over a matter that clearly doesn’t matter a bit in the real scope of things, and diminishes the “community spirit” of TSTOAddicts.
Psychologically, it is a pretty established fact, that control freaks who feel the need to bully others, or call them out, actually feel little or no control in their own lives. They are desperate to have a say about SOMETHING…and so they obsess on anything that gives them a sense of power…or self satisfaction.
I get it.
Life can just, plain, suck sometimes.
And this week, it did.
My friend Terri, who was truly one of the sweetest, most forgiving, upbeat, tolerant, and wonderful people I have had the pleasure to have known, passed away.
I know that many of you have been praying for another outcome. But, the cancer simply became too much to fight. Every time we got good news that the chemo or radiation was working, it came back with a vengeance.
She had a wonderful day with her family on Mother’s Day, surrounded and serenaded by her grandkids. We were all devastated by the news. I had just talked to her on Friday, when she got home from rehab, and she was looking forward to painting again. She was brave, upbeat, and amazing. I can only aspire to have even half of the talent and humanity that she had.
It is easy during times like this to be cynical. It is easy to look at the world and ask, “With all of the jerks in the world, why did we have to lose someone who brought so much light, happiness and love?” It’s easy to get pissed off at “God’s Plan,” and turn away from any faith at all.
But, from where I sit…life is still full of promise and hope, if we are only wise enough to start living it with value, openness and grace.
In so many ways…how you play this silly game is a reflection on how you live life. Have you lost perspective? Has tapping become more than just an idle diversion? Do you actually worry about stars, and ratings, and “winning” to the point that you would shame another player in public?
It’s all about perspective. And I admit, that after a week like this…I am working on that myself.
Live life. Get outside of your own head. Do something for others. Do something that changes the world for the better. Don’t spend another minute wasting the most precious gift we are given in this life…time.