Wildcard Topic: Foolish Games

It’s April Fool’s Day – and since I’m not much of a practical joker, what better way to commemorate the day than with a look at some of the best procrastination tools around – computer games.

I worked as a secretary for a year or so between “careers”…and that’s when I discovered solitaire. I remember playing regular solitare, then moving on to the harder versions one by one, playing for hours at a time while waiting for something exciting to happen (yes, I could have been writing, but I was in a “trying to quit” phase). I got really good at it – and when I get good at a game, I generally abandon it for something new.

Enter Rollerball. Goodness, how I loved that game. You used the mouse to roll a ball through a maze of obstacles and challenges, growing flowers everywhere the ball rolled. I loved the graphics, loved the challenges, loved how mellow it made me feel. I got it off of the Shockwave site, along with Bejeweled, Alchemy and The Mummy Maze. So much fun in such a little screen…

When I got my current job, I had to stop the games – because I had to actually…you know, work. But when I joined Facebook (was it over a year ago? Wow.), I discovered more gaming goodness in the form of FarmTown. How fun to plant and harvest crops, rearrange an entire homestead, and collect more animals than my plot of land could ever possibly support!

Restaurant City followed that, and I gleefully set up a cafe. I had employees serving up meals and cleaning the joint, and dutifully closed up shop every night. Cafe World quickly replaced that because I liked the layout and the fact I didn’t have to actually feed my employees to keep them working. I guess you could say I traded fair labor for sweat shop conditions…

I finally started playing Farmville, a secondary farming game simply to help out some facebook friends…but I didn’t enjoy it as much because in order to level up, you needed more friends. I’m not one of those people who invites others to play games, be my farm/restaurant/yoville neighbor, etc. So the social aspect of the game was my undoing, and I quit.

I don’t play any facebook games currently – I kind of got bored with them. And luckily, our connection isn’t really fast enough for a serious role-playing game like Second Life, because I’ll admit to seriously considering bringing one or more of my novel characters to life in that environment, just to see what would happen. I can safely say the only games I play at the moment are Wii Fit/Fit Plus games, designed to get me into shape – they really are a lot of fun. I’ve lost 5lbs even with my spotty workout schedule, so I can’t consider that wasted time…

Now it’s your turn. ‘Fess up – what games do you slip into for relaxation/procrastination? How often do you switch?

4 comments on “Wildcard Topic: Foolish Games

  1. BigWords88

    The one game which sucked up hours upon hours of my time when I was meant to be doing other things (like, uh… working) was Rise Of nations, mostly because the build was so robust that it never crashed. I don’t think that game CAN crash, despite treating it so badly.

    You can alt-tab away from the game without the window going screwy (try that with any FPS and see how long it takes you to fix the hundred things which go wrong while the spreadsheet is doing its’ thing. Ludicrously well thought out, and despite it being a RTS I found it completely addictive.

    The other game to make a serious dent in my productivity is an oldie – Doom. I played the original when it came out, and even though it had a few bugs in those first releases, it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. There is an entire generation of people who are addicted to games because of that one title.

  2. Dolly

    What a fun topic 🙂

    I like plenty of games, including spider solitaire, farmville and other facebook games – but I resist them. With Facebook, I stopped playing them because I used to waste a lot of time on them.

    But PC games – that’s where I found some true loves. Though I am total fusspot, they have to have cute graphics, they have to have free-form play so I can play for ages and do a lot of stuff but also be able to achieve things – yes, I want everything.

    So I used to love Europa 1400 and Cultures – various versions of both of them. But I played them to death, done everything many times.

    So currently, the only game I love is Sims 3. However, I do go through phases where I would play it obsessively for a few weeks and then not touch it for months. It works out okay, because I am not distracted everyday. But whenever a new expansions pack or something comes, then I am on there, glued to my desktop.

  3. Carol

    Game aps were one of the reasons I gave up Facebook – they were way too tempting. 🙂

    Now I waste many an hour playing Mah Jong Connect, Spider Solitaire, Net Hack, Alchemy, Zuma’s Revenge, Chuzzle, and if I’m really desperate to pretend I’m doing something useful I’ll play Text Twist.

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