My wife, in a vindictive moment, suggested that I should try playing Township. Township is a casual game you play on the phone where you manage a farm, growing wheat, milking cows, and ….
… and five hours later I recovered consciousness, after spending the intervening time tapping on the screen of my phone and moving wheat and milk and loaves of bread around.
Like most of these games, it’s incredibly boring. The revenue model behind Township is to get you to buy eggs, or cows, or chicken hutches, or small bushes, and the way these are sold to you are by making it so teeth-grindingly painful and dull that, out of total frustration, you pay up for them rather than try to work your way to them via just playing the game.
Games like these soak up all the time you have that you could have spent just being vaguely bored. Now you’re totally bored, but at the same time engaged in something. Think of the things I could have achieved in life if I wasn’t trying to manage a cartoon simulation of a farm. I could have read another disappointing book. I could have tidied the shelves. I could have reorganised my socks in order of days of the week.
Instead of which, I’ve now got a large pile of fake sugar cane (within the game, it appears that the focus is on growing cash crops – carrots, wheat and corn just aren’t as profitable, especially when it takes an hour for my non-existent sugar factory to get built to process the harvest into sugar cubes that I could then have an imaginary baker turn into a bagel). Is this some sort of economic brainwashing that I’m willingly subjecting myself to?
I’m only typing this now because my phone has begun to overheat, probably from having to simulate all the non-existent cows, chickens, etc. I haven’t been able to stop playing it – it’s only batteries and the laws of thermodynamics that have released me.