Remember a time when people would join Facebook solely to play FarmVille? We were addicted to the thrill of growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables. We were excited over mundane things such as planting cherry blossom trees when they’re in season. A-list celebrities such as Emma Stone have talked about their own addiction to FarmVille.
Unfortunately, Zynga, the company behind FarmVille, has announced last September that they’re shutting down the beloved game by the end of 2020. This news reminded us of how we tend to be dedicated to farming games. Now, many people are playing popular games such as Stardew Valley.
A study published in the Journal of Rural Studies coined the term “desk-chair countryside.” It’s when people engage in games about farming and rural life as they sit at their desks. This phenomenon explains how our addiction to farming games has affected our lives. Because of this, it’s also influenced how we set up our homes.
Improved Relationship with Animals
Part of managing a farm in a game is raising animals. Some of them are livestock and are being raised to feed the people in the game. But we raise some animals to help us manage the farms. For example, farmers use horses daily to help them move sheep or cattle from one area to another.
Caring for horses, even if it’s only through a game, fostered our relationship with animals. We find ourselves trying to earn more coins to buy the best equipment for them. We want the best hay bale feeder for the horses on the farm.
Our dedication to the animals in the game influenced us to care for animals in real life. We started fostering pets. We made sure our homes are pet-friendly for them. And, most of all, we ensured that they are very much part of the family. They are our companions in the same way that the farmers in our games are dedicated to their animals.
Openness to Nature
Many of us play farming games because it’s about a simple rural life. It’s the opposite of our lives in the city. But the more we play these games, the more we find life with nature more appealing.
So we started caring for plants at home. For some of us who have outdoor space, we started planting flowers and other greenery. There’s a sense of thrill and satisfaction in successfully growing plants. It’s something that we felt in farming games. So we also chased that feeling in real life as we surrounded our homes with plants as well.
We also opened our homes to nature by making small changes. We opened our windows to let in some natural sunlight and air. We set up tables and chairs in our balconies or backyard so we could bask in nature as we sip our morning coffee or have dinner parties with our friends.
Reliance on Planting
As we played farming games, we’re enjoying the sense of gratification with successful planting. We feel proud about it because we got to witness something grow from a seed. And this seed eventually led to vegetables that can nourish a whole family.
So we found the urge to plant actual vegetables in our own garden as well. We developed our outdoor spaces into actual vegetable gardens. A mini-farm of sorts developed in our own backyard. We could have potatoes, lettuce, and herbs such as basil and rosemary straight from our garden. We have an endless supply of lemons from the tree we planted.
As we played farming games, we experienced feelings of delight, pride, and excitement. When our farms in the games grew and became successful, we feel like managing an actual farm in real life.
And because of these satisfying feelings, we also found ourselves developing our home life. We made it similar to what it’s like living on a farm. So, in short, farming games helped develop our relationship with the environment. They influenced us to open our homes to the natural world.