March 26, 2010

Ask and you shall receive?

Someone will want to give me something today.

They almost always do because I play FarmVille, the hottest game on Facebook, where sending virtual gifts back and forth is a part of the game. I have more then 100 neighbors so the likelihood of something popping up in my mailbox/inbox is pretty good.

For me, FarmVille is good for two things: Thinking and change.

Game keeps asking, asking, asking

You get a lot of questions in FarmVille - What do you think will be in this? What will your neighbors think? Questions are posed when a farmer is about to share a bonus or news with others.

I use that open space for mini-blogging. It started as a way to make the posts interesting for those not into FarmVille,. That way even if you didn't want a golden egg you might be interested in seeing what thoughts the word gold or golden inspired. On Feb. 21, an egg inspired me to write about friendship in two posts:

Imagine my surprise when one Facebook follower who is into FarmVille wrote she got so enthralled with what I wrote she forgot to click and get her bonus.

The instant responses and comments also are rewarding. It is encouraging that so many worry when I just share a bonus and leave off the thoughts. So FarmVille makes me think. The game stops me, delivers a prompt and I go with it.

Change is normal

FarmVille also is constant change: New gimmick, new gift, new way of socializing or just tweaks such as a new number of rewards attached to a bonus.The regularity of those changes - updates tend to come Tuesday and Thursday nights - keep the hard-core crew interested and has spawned blogs that actually are making money on the Internet.

Right now, the most competitive farmers are chasing after "spring eggs" to put in a basket and trade for prizes. (We, of course, can't call them Easter eggs because that would not be politically correct. I hate that. Really.)

You need to ask

One of the newer tools is the ability to put your wish out there - telling your neighbors what you want, what you need.

I find it harder to ask for things. In real life. In FarmVille. In life.

Ask for pay for your work? Ask for virtual building supplies for a farm? Ask for forgiveness for unkind words? Or, as you can do in Mafia Wars, ask for respect? (Yes, I finally gave in and played Mafia Wars so I could buy a bigger, better, badder tractor, harvester and feeder so I could do nine plots at once. Sad, I know.)

In real life, part of me that needs to know why you follow me but another part can't carry the burden of an answer yet. There's a part that screams to know more about your strategy and a part that won't put that much effort into any game. There's a part that wants to know what happened and a part that is OK with the comfort delivered by a nothingness.

Wish upon a star?

So we're back to thinking and FarmVille, inspired by a new wish list tool.

I know that little ditty you say when you see a falling star. I know there was a time when I made lists of things I wanted - a gift under the Christmas tree, red meat that wasn't hamburger, and clothes that came directly from the store.

Sometimes, I did lists as an adult, lists with far more expensive things. But I still feel awkward making lists.

This put yourself out there stuff? Lay bare your secret wishes? I find it hard to do at Amazon, in FarmVille, and a million other places. Count my mind as one of those places as the mushiness of dreams, hopes and ideals get crushed by insane questions, fuzzy loopholes and imagined obstacles.

I'll try

So on FarmVille, I suggest that even though there are a lot of things I'm wishing for right now I will settle for a gold bear to put in the pot at the end of my rainbow. Or an egg for the newly acquired spring basket.

In real life, I'm going to work on knowing what my wishes are and how to express them so I ask for what I want, need and deserve.

But, this idea of believing the good of the universe prevails in the long run. Well, that's asking a lot some days. Today is one of those days.

Read some more

Yes, I have shared some of the FarmVille-inspired blogging before and I will again. Remember reading posts by others how Twitter and FriendFeed was replacing their need for blogging? Well, sometimes playing FarmVille and sharing my thoughts and reactions there was my blogging. It took me a while to recognize that, to make sure the blogging made it into this grand central station.


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