"I went over to my neighbour's farm and watered her pumpkins." This is the kind of thing one says regularly while playing FarmVille 2. I've spent most of the last week deep in Zynga's latest foray into agriculture-based Facebook gaming. I've been really playing the thing, letting it get its hooks into me — for science!
Believe it or not, despite the usual Ville-game annoyances, FarmVille 2 is pretty fun. (Or, well, I'm still not sure I'd characterise what I'm having as "fun," but it sure is something.)
One thing's for sure, though — it is impossible to talk about this game without snickering. Every time I talk about FarmVille 2, it sounds like I'm talking about sex.
A big part of FarmVille 2 involves going to your neighbor's farms and... doing stuff. This keeps you engaged and playing the game, largely due to a "keeping up with the Joneses" thing. You're constantly aware of the state of your friends and their levels. (It's not an accident that your first computer-controlled neighbour Marie has an insanely gorgeous level 40 farm, to which she is regularly inviting you. That bitch.) It's a diabolical bit of leaderboarding: Tim Rogers and I are cordial neighbours, always helping each other out. But we're also ruthlessly competing.
So it's that much funnier when I say "I have to go and feed Tim's goat." Hee! I've learned that if I put "…. if ya know what I mean" at the end of every sentence in FarmVille 2, it makes it that much funnier.
Here are some other FarmVille 2 actions that it's hard to say with a straight face. Feel free to add "If ya know what I mean" to the end of any of these.
"While I was sleeping, Tiff fertilised my blueberries."
"God, I just wanted to harvest all of Marie's crops, but I didn't have enough energy."
"This morning, Tim finally gave me that wood plank I've been begging him for."
"Tracey was mostly taken care of by the time I got there, so I just watered her crops."
Harvesting corn? Planting a tree? Admiring someone's bush-placement? Dirty, dirty, dirty.
It's not some huge revelation that this is true — food is sexy and so is farming. FarmVille 2 may be the most neutered, amusement-park version of farming I've ever seen, but even this game can't gloss over the sensuality of working the land. After all, what is farming but coaxing plants into showing us their most engorged sexual organs before we harvest and eat them? (Paging Barbara Kingsolver!)
In other words: FarmVille 2 may not actually show it happening, but we still know the score: Shucking corn requires us to peel back layers of husk from a long, juicy corncob before massaging the silk off of the tip.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go fertilise my neighbour's strawberries.
If ya know what I mean.
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