Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Season of Giving

Back in September, I wrote a blog about a game called Disney City Girl. I don't play that any more, but there are a couple of other games on the Playdom site that I still enjoy. One is Disney's Words of Wonder, a vocabulary game. It can be played in English, French, or German, but unfortunately it won't let you use words from the other two languages (unless they've crept into your own, of course--there's a lot of French and German vocabulary in English). Frequently I'll win a level, look at my "best" (highest-scoring) word, and say "That's a word?" Did you know that "jak" is short for "jackfruit"? I certainly didn't before I looked it up.

Speaking of the meaning of words, however, Gardens of Time, the other game I play, has decided to redefine the word "giving." First they started calling it "gifting," but it still meant that your friends gave you gifts to build whatever the item in your garden was. The last one was a hayride that you completed by collecting colored ears of corn: a different color for each day. The current "fun new 9-Days of Gifting event," instead of allowing you to get items from your friends, which is doable and fun, requires that you complete your Reindeer Stable by crafting Reindeer Tokens from the current Time Lab. Not only does this interfere with your using the Time Lab for anything else, it's virtually impossible, expensive, and/or a full-time job. Your friends can't help you. In order to get a Reindeer Token, you need to collect candies: three each of peppermint, spearmint, and butterscotch. For Vixen, today's reindeer, you need six tokens, which equals 54 candies. (I'm dreading the day they demand ten tokens.) Candies may, not will, come from playing scenes in your garden or competing in blitz contests in your neighbors' gardens. Each scene/blitz takes about a minute to play (or longer, depending on the load time) and a scene uses 10 units of energy, which takes 30 minutes to accumulate. You don't get a candy at every attempt, and they aren't evenly distributed, so you can have nine of one kind, two of another, and only one of the third.

But don't worry! Playdom has a solution that doesn't involve your playing the game all day and getting mouse wrist. You can buy a candy for one piece of gold! Gold, of course, is the stuff you pay real money for, the kind that comes out of your back account. Playdom is offering a new opportunity: "this time you don't need to worry about sending/receiving gifts." If it hasn't occurred to them yet that we like sending/receiving gifts, a glance at the message boards should tell them differently. There are references to "bait and switch" and "9 days of buying," so I'm obviously not the only person who feels that Playdom is changing our season of giving into a season of buying.

This is a stable Jesus couldn't afford to be born in. Merry Christmas!