Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Forget sex, forget a quick drink in the evening, definitely forget friends, and forget children. I have a new passion, and guess what it is? Farmville, the agricultural computer game. I really don't want to go out in the evenings or to watch television; my life is centred on my virtual farm (and my new craze, Paradise Island). I now worry about whether my trees are well tended or my plants bringing in enough cash, and I have to say I don't feel at all ashamed about this surreal experience. It is better than any meditation - and a wonderful guide to other people's characters. I think every boss should ask their future employees to make a farm. You can tell if people are imaginative, practical, obsessive, timid, lazy, neat - in fact, you can even tell if they steal. (What else could explain those types who greedily pin in their animals, collecting as many as possible?) Personally, I don't have any animals at all, and aim for prettiness. But I must admit, some of my neighbours are incredible. The star has to go to Jennifer Nicholson who is seriously funky and a hoarder, while the astrologer Zoe Moon has the best bedroom on Yoville (the urban version). Of course, many people would be put off Farmville, because it is serious commitment - you have to look at least twice a day. Meanwhile, if you play Yoville, you have to deal with a lot more than planting and harvesting. (I haven't got to grips with it yet, as it involves hitting, punching, kissing and - I think - gambling, but I can't work it out.) I am envious of the amazing collection in Jennifer's virtual apartment, and wonder how she made it so special. Is she spending her own money? As her prospective boss, I would want to know. But actually, as a boss I would not employ anybody who liked these games. I mean, why aren't they doing some work?

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