Friday night I was playing with my Cafe World restaurant and noticed that there was a new menu item but it was only available if you were in Mafia Wars. I was immediately irritated. There is another menu item that you can only get if you're in the email club. Also irritating.
Two things that have been so loathsome on the Internet that software was designed to destroy them: pop-ups and spam. Facebook games are loaded with both. I get so tired of closing pop-ups that remind me to invite my friends, or be a fan, or sign up with email. And there is no way I want a gazillion emails reminding me to feed a pet, or harvest my crops.
I should probably make note of my spectacularly bad mood. It's about pain. My knee is way better but still hurts. And it's limiting. I pushed myself to get to the pool the other day. It hurt to walk up there and it hurt when I was swimming and it hurt for three hours afterward. Swimming is essential to my well being. So I'm cranky.
But Facebook games have been increasingly annoying. I've ranted about my unfinished stable and spice rack. Friends have made efforts to help me but they don't always have what I need. If I could add together all of the things that people have sent I could have three spice racks but the game is designed so that different friends have different items. I have lots of secret spice and no bleepin spice rack. Is this some one's idea of a challenge?
Most of my Facebook friends don't play the games. I've begged a few of them to sign onto a few because I needed them to level up and I've stopped playing games because I arrived at a place where I couldn't get higher without more friends. I know that Facebook is a social networking site. And I know I'm not that interested in networking. I have enjoyed finding and having been found by old friends. But I'm not really that into networking.
I have seen two solutions to the need for friends in games issue. Create a second (or more) FB account with an alias. And 'friend' people who you don't know. I have two 'friends' who I don't know. I accepted their friend request because they knew someone I knew. It soon became apparent that they were gamers looking for neighbors. It bugged me a little bit but ... oh well. I came close to creating an alias account but decided against it. I don't think there's anything really wrong with doing that but ... it doesn't exactly feel right. What really feels wrong is the fact that I need more friends to play.
Zynga seems to be trying to link up their games. There's Farmville toys in Petville and now Mafia wars in Cafe World. I guess the idea is to make sure everyone knows about every game.
All of the games I'm in I joined because someone asked me to join. I don't really go looking for them. I have enjoyed some of them. I usually like them all the first time I play. I really like the restaurant games. I don't really like Farmville. I get tired every time I load the game and see all the trees and animals ready to harvest. So much clicking! But there are two games that I never wanted to play: Owned and Mafia Wars. And now I need to be in one of them to be able to make a new dish? It's not really a big deal. I used to make every new dish but I stopped. Some of them are too much time on the stove for too few servings. It's just the principle of the thing. It feels coercive.
And then there's the time. Time to take care of my own stuff and visit all my neighbors and accept my gifts and send gifts. And now I need to try and remember what everyone needs and they're supposed to remember what I need? It's too much. These are supposed to be casual games.
So. Yesterday I didn't play many Facebook games. I'm new to Social City and am having some fun with it so I did play that. Although even there I'm on the edge of needing more neighbors.
The fun to frustration ratio is off. Maybe I just need to wait until my knee isn't aching and see if my mood improves but there's only so many hours a day I want to be playing a game and ... I'd rather be playing with my Sims.
I have observed some of my friends on FB being engaged in playing with their friends. They help each other and they seem like they're having fun. I admire their spirit. I wish I was ... I dunno ... more playful.
Anyway. I'm not playing for awhile. And I feel sort of bad about that. Which I think is me taking things too seriously.