Thank Grog It’s Firday!
I’m not gonna lie. I am rushing this event like crazy. The first reason is my fault…I’m super busy right now. The second reason is a bit more complex.
It’s not that this event is boring as all get out (it is), or that the content is kinda strange (it is), or even that the dialogue isn’t worth reading (it is). It is really because we have slowly been trained as a society to take the shortest path, to the greatest reward, offering almost instant gratification, in almost all parts of our lives.
The urge to binge is all around us. The urge to press a button and get what we want, faster than ever, and in some cases as much as we want (and often more than we need) has never been more prevalent.
And EA, and the way this game has evolved, has done this to us, and to the greater game overall.
TSTO and online gaming certainly aren’t the only culprits in modern society. I remember when waiting for a new episode of a TV show was something you looked forward to. “NBC Thursdays” or waiting for the next episode of the “Soprano’s” was actually an event.
And then came along Netflix, which allowed you to binge an entire “season” of a show in a day. Heck…I even remember when “seasons” where 24 episodes or more. Now, a “season” of something that is “binge-worthy” is 6 to 10 episodes.
And, the writers seem to know this. If you actually had to wait for a week to watch the next episode of something like “the Outsider,” you’d have to go back and watch the end of the episode before, to figure out who is alive, and who is dead, and who may be in two places at the same time, but NOT the one eating the animals. It’s like they KNOW we are going to binge watch it.
The other part of this “binge training” comes from too damn many shows to possibly watch, and still have a life. I admit readily, to being one of those who saw the Netflix (or was it Hulu, or Amazon Prime?) TV show, “Fleabag” sweep the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards for best comedy, and best writing, and decided to “Binge” the entire offering.
As it turns out…”Fleabag” is two, six-episode seasons long. And each episode was only 26 minutes in length. That’s NOT a “Series!” That’s just a long, “director’s cut” of a movie. That’s only a little over five hours long…start to finish! Heck…Scorsese’s “Irishmen” was almost that long. But, they had the good grace to at least call it a movie! But, I digress…
The whole thing with a good binge, is that you can follow the story easily. In fact, I have become so enamored of the concept of “the binge,” that I have started recording a whole season of a show, forcing myself NOT to watch it, until I have almost or all of the season “in the can,” and then indulging in a weekend binge.
That can be murder on a weekend…and really requires you to be sick, snowed in, or agoraphobic. I have an almost full season of the new “Ray Donovan” waiting for me. I am considering doing that with the new season of “Better Call Saul,” but I doubt that I will be able to hold off. I LOVE that show.
What is EAsy to Binge, is TSTO right now. Because we can donut farm, and because blowing through an entire act in a few minutes is infinitely more rewarding than schlogging through it. I am binging the hell out of it.
And as it turns out…doing this actually makes the dialogue better! It’s way easier to follow the convoluted weirdness of the writing in this “Act.”
I get it. It’s supposed to be funny (as in odd) that Abraham the First is Yellow…and his Mom is Yellow (with blue hair) and his Dad is black.
I mean, let’s be honest. If we go back far enough in our genealogy, we ALL have some black ancestors. It’s where this whole experiment called “humans” started.
|Relatives:||Father: Virgil Simpson
Mother: Mabel Simpson
Great Grandson: Abraham Simpson
Grandson: Orville Simpson
Great Great Grandson: Homer Simpson
Great Great Great Grandchildren: Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson
Son: “Old Tut” Simpson
But the rest of the writing and tasks for the event are just, plain, stupid and lazy.
Case in point.
When Abe ( who by any reasonable estimate of time/age is close to 150 years old), decides to jump into the river and ride a log home, he actually does so in the Brown House. Even though we have LOADS of rivers and Water and Logs…
But no…the tasks are in THE BROWN HOUSE!!! This place is apparently a complete time/space vortex. Because the whole chapter plays out there. In the house. Not a river. Not near a log. In the house.
In fact…the entire “episode” with Abe, his Dad, and the river all happen in the house. It must have one HUGE basement!
It’s like the opposite of a binge. You have to watch a couple of minutes of action, and a few lines of dialogue, play out over hours, if not days (depending on how often you log in).
Why in the heck would I play this in real time???? Waiting hours, and hours, and setting my timer, just to have a few bits of lazy writing, and ridiculously lazy tasks unfold over a day or two. BOOM!!!! BINGE!!! Move on with my life.
What is clear in the event, is that the writers and EA are sending us a message. They are testing just how far we will sink to remain loyal to the game…by making it harder to care. They are basically saying, “Go Ahead. BINGE! Farm donuts…and Binge Your Asses Off!” They sure aren’t making the effort to make it worth playing in real time.
The world is simply becoming one big Binge. Imagine of you had to wait a week between episodes of “Fleabag,” just to reach the obvious logical conclusion. She’s still a mess. She is pretty much an awful person. There was just no place else for the story to go. Once you defile a priest (spoiler alert) you are pretty much done with trying to have a nice, normal relationship again. I am thankful that it was only twelve 23-minute episodes. Because, just like TSTO, I am trained to finish what I start…even though I am grimacing and sweating my way through it…as the Life Currency of time itself, is flushed away.
I am lost to the binge. For book club, I ordered a box of original “Cafe Du Monde’ Beignet Mix” from Amazon grocery. I ordered it from Prime Grocery, because it would be delivered to me in ONE day. If I ordered it from Cafe Du Monde’ it would have taken a week. I wanted beignets. I bought the oil (cottenseed for authenticity) , the mix, and the bag of powdered sugar, and had it delivered to my door. I din’t have to stop watching “Fleabag” to do this. And, when I made the beignets, I made enough for everyone to have 4 each…and it wasn’t enough. We binged on beignets…and didn’t think a thing of it.
We binged, because we could. Just like watching the entire season of something in a weekend…or blowing through an entire 10-day act in a matter of minutes. It was excessive….and we didn’t give a damn.
I’m not sure how much longer I will keep tapping. The fact that I HAVE to binge to get any pleasure out of the game, is not lost on me. I will keep going out of dedication to Alissa, and the legacy we have created here. But, damn…more isn’t better. And I just can’t imagine logging in every 4 hours…for the kind of weak, lackluster rewards, and lazy quest-lines we have been getting.
In the end…we binge to save ourselves from admitting that there is a greater problem we are ignoring. But, when you are on your 4th beignet…it just doesn’t matter.
OH…and for the record…I agree with Wookie. That is NOT a finger that Matt was trying to slip by us in the opening screen. It is an appendage a little lower…and no matter how many donuts Abe feeds it, the good doctor is still asking it to “cough.”