As I write, not 3 minutes have passed since I shot three black-tailed deer. I’m having a little break now you see. I don’t have the energy.
‘James,’ I hear you cry (very faintly, as I have protectors on), ‘surely with the thrill of the bloodlust that must be consuming you after such a bountiful sojourn in the forest, a break must be furthest from your mind!’
‘Indeed,’ would come the reply, but unfortunately the matter is completely out of my hands. You see, as much as I would relish peeking out over the next ridge and picking off six some goats with my assault rifle, I need to get a new muzzle for it. Also, the ammo needs upgrading.
I am of course, playing Deer Hunter 2014 on my mobile telephone.
If I want to teach those stampeding goats a lesson right now, I’d have to get out my bank card, pay for some tokens, to buy me some energy, to shoot more animals, to get more cash, to upgrade various parts of my gun, to kill harder animals, which in turn would get more cash and so on as I work through the game.
Or I could just put my phone away and forget about it for an hour or so, after which I would receive a friendly notification telling me that my energy was full again and I could play for another 5 minute kill-a-thon before my next hour’s break from the forest.
Ha, perfect, don’t need to pay! So long suckers, you won’t get me!
But what have they done?
It’s becoming boring waiting all that time, doing the same thing over and over, just to get enough cash for the parts which will gradually piece together a sufficiently incredible gun with the power, accuracy, stability and top-of-the-range scope to kill the most special and rare animal of this whole North America level. But you see, only then can I get my flight to the Savannah, where there’s bound to be lions, and gun shops with guns I could never previously afford.
Maybe I could just get a few tokens (or the ‘premium currency’) then I won’t have to bother with too many of the repetitive missions, just go through the main hunts.
Gah! This is just like the time I couldn’t build Barney’s Bowl-a-rama in my own privately constructed Springfield. I had to have it; it was only 1 pound 45 for a box of a dozen donuts – the Tapped Out! version of tokens. ‘Twas a free game anyway.
It’s like a gift of free heroin, just enough to get you really interested, then next time your man from EA Games comes round to drop off, its gonna cost ya… Meh, what’s a couple of quid any way, no matter.
Quite a lot when you’ve got hundreds of millions of players desperate to crush more candy, or rescue more pets or whatever other near-identical mission you are charged with (geddit?) in one of king.com’s wildly successful saga series.
The more cash you spend in fact, the better deal you get on your tokens, so the truly shrewd and intelligent person would see that if you paid GB£2.99, you’d get 60 donuts, then you could afford a nuclear power plant and Mr. Burns to boot!
But where does it end? I was baffled to find a deal for enough donuts that the game must surely never inconvenience you in any way again: 2,400 donuts for £69.99.
I would have buildings that others could only dream of! I could speed up any task and build my city faster and better than anyone, I could sh- woah, wait… 70 quid?
Who the bloody hell would pay 70 bloody pounds to take the fun out of a game, that the more I did, the less fun it was any way? I’m sure there are some out there either rich enough or stupid enough to do so.
But maybe it’s not their fault, there are plenty of non-rich, non-stupid people throwing their money at betting shops, crack dealers and cream cheese and chive Pringles. They all just got something cheap and full of promise, but got hooked. And like the game, the more you do, the worse it is! As every good pusher or businessman should know, there’s no customer quite as good as an addict.
If only I had some ‘real-life’ tokens which I could exchange for ‘real-life’ cash! Then I could escape real life for a bit by buying some game tokens, and exchanging them for game cash and amuse myself for hours!
Actually if I had ‘real-life’ tokens, maybe I could wire them across the internet in secured, untraceable transactions and buy the various drugs I’m variously addicted to and escape real life that way. Who wants to wait and work for stuff any way?
My, how life imitates computer game (or vice versa), where our desires and needs to be distracted, escape reality, have fun, win big, keep up with the Joneses, be an individual, and fit in all have a price; and an agent who knows just how much you’ll need before you can’t do without it.
Right, now, I’m off to huff some glue and beat my flappy bird high score (43).