In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to for the past two years, trust me, I have a really good excuse for not updating. I’ve been SUPER busy doing mindless, repetitive tasks. As my husband can attest, none of them have been housework.
Wanting to get me up to date with all the exciting new technology available, Jay made the mistake of buying me an Nintendo DS. I was really excited, because this obviously meant he’d bought a time machine as well, and we could now go back to 2004 anytime we wanted. Since Jay knows I suck at video games requiring hand eye coordination, and actively dislike games most people would consider “fun,” and “not soul-crushingly boring,” he also brought a copy of Animal Crossing back from his time traveling adventures.
I immediately went about filling the night sky of my little Animal world with constellations of deformed penises.
Good question, Owl Monster!
You can’t really cuss in Animal Crossing, since it’s clearly intended for children and elderly women. If you try to spell out “fuck,” or “dick,” they’ll just blank it out. I had to be sneaky, which is why I have constellations called “Tiddyfuch,” “Orion’s Weenie” and “AshWhole Nebula” adorning my genito-centric twilight masterpiece.
Frequently, one of the hydrocephalic furries who live in my town would ask me to come up with a new catchphrase or nickname for them. As a good neighbor, I was only too happy to oblige.
I’m guessing I got away with “cock” because my next door neighbor in the game is a rooster. Seriously, Animal Crossing is weird.
Eventually Jay tired of my little jocularities, what with my constant chuckling (or in his words, “cackling like a deranged harpy”) and waking him at 2 am so I could show off a cartoon dog saying “My new catchphrase is Reem My Pink Pucker, DoodyWang!” Plus, clenching a stylus in a stranglehold grip for hours on end was leading to early-onset arthritis. The thing is, Animal Crossing – really DEDICATED Animal Crossing – is hard work. There’s this raccoon that’s running some sort of Mafioso protection racket, so you have to spend all day, in real time, collecting apples and sea shells to sell back to him to earn money to pay off all these rooms he keeps adding to your house – EVEN THOUGH YOU DIDN’T ASK HIM TO – and then you have to write letters to all the mutant animals that live in town so they’ll send you furniture so you can sell THAT to the raccoon ’cause he just hiked your mortgage rates again and ohhh shiiiiiit…My knuckles sounded like bags of glass in a trash compactor
Hoping to stave-off a future of spoon feeding his wife because her hands don’t work no more (or because he refused to believe a duck saying “ffffuuuuukkkk” was inherently hilarious), Jay bought me a fancy Android phone. Finally, I could dive into an exciting NEW world of mind-numbingly dull entertainment: SOCIAL GAMING.
Pirates of the Caribbean sounded pretty cool. Roam the ocean blue, blow some ships out of the water, collect…booty? (Old habits. They die SO hard)
The official screen caps from the games look like this:
Actual gameplay is a little closer to what you see here:
Now I’ve been posting ill-advised nude pictures on the internet since it dribbled out of Al Gore’s pee hole, so it’s not like I wasn’t you know, AWARE that only terrible people populate the web…but still. Wow. Going by the screen names people use in Disney’s Pirates of The Caribbean, I am the only person playing who is not a card-carrying white supremacist, or high as fuck.
Well, wait. Back up a minute. Before I sailed the racist seas of Pirates of the Caribbean, I did have ONE other experience with Social/Casual gaming. I don’t even want to talk about it because it’s so goddamn embarrassing…
But yeah. I…I played “The Smurfs’ Village.” I played it A LOT.
If you told me five years ago that I’d someday be exchanging Jay’s hard earned money for “Smurfberries,” so I could advance in an online game featuring Smurfs…well…I actually would have said it sounded pretty likely. But when you said “No, you’ll do this SOBER,” I would have punched you right in your stupid lying face. I’m a pretty mean drunk. But I did indeed exchange real world cash money for goddamn SMURFBERRIES. Even more disturbing, I was playing the stupid thing non-stop. I set my alarm clock so I’d know when my crops were ready to harvest. When out with friends, I’d dash to the bathroom to see if Greedy Smurf and Stonemason Smurf and Retardo Smurf were back from their 36 hours quest “to deliver a gift for a local prince!” All so I could earn more money and buy more smurf houses and get more smurfs and level up so I could plant more goddamn crops.
At some point there may or might not have been an intervention (“You did WHAT with my money?” is a pretty effective deterrent in the Pinkerton-Pacheco household), and one day, I just stopped playing. I’d like to say it’s because I took a new, healthier attitude towards games and learned a valuable lesson about moderation. But honestly it was because I’d gotten as far as I could get in the game without involving…”Friends.” Shudder.
My mother joined Facebook almost immediately after I did, guaranteeing I’d never spend another day on it. As far as I’m concerned, Facebook is the Mom Ghetto, now. I show up once a year to collect my birthday ego-stroking, but otherwise I’ll be posting my hilarious dog pictures and fart jokes on twitter, thank you very much (@THEKarlaPacheco, btw). But my mother driving me away from Facebook at least meant I avoided the siren song of Mafia Bakery Wars, and FarmVille, and AquariumVille, and CityTownVillageVille, or whatever the fuck else people I don’t remember from high school were playing.
I hate playing team sports. If it’s one I’m good at (you know, that one that doesn’t exist – you play it on unicorns?), I don’t like other people slowing me down. If it’s one I suck at (all of them), I feel like a heel for dragging everybody else into my suck-hole. Which is why I’d so adamantly avoided the social elements to Animal Crossing and Smurfs village – There were maybe a few achievements I couldn’t get without involving people I haven’t spoken to in 20 years, but overall, I could do just fine on my own.
Then along came the Pirates.
In addition to the rollicking sea battles you fight in Pirates (“Would you like to attack HTLER_KSA?” “YES.” “Press button” “Battle Fought. You lost.”), there’s also a series of quests, like this:
Looks cool, huh? All starting bar fights, buckling your swashes, maybe kissing some wenches. But that thing you see there? That WAS the quest. You just did it. And it probably took up all of your “Energy Points” (the little lightning bolts) to do, so now you have to wait until your energy bar refills if you want to do another quest, i.e. “press the button again.” Though of course, you COULD buy some gems and refill that energy bar instantly…
The alternative to buying gems is to get other players to join your swarthy pirate crew so they can gift you free energy, or weapons to up your attack skills. Disney obviously hopes you’ll do this by getting your friends on Facebook to sign up for the game. I decided to go it alone, until I received notice that my ship had been sunk three times by “KIKE990.”
Yeah, fuck that noise.
I ponied up 5 bucks so I could buy a cannon that would put my attack stats higher than my presumably non-Jewish friend there, and then attacked KIKE990 back. I waited around for my energy to refill and attacked him again. I sunk that motherfucker six times. Just relentlessly going back to the game solely to sink that stupid asshole. Realizing that KIKE990 had 38 crew members (38 people saw that name and were like “Eh, not in the BEST taste, but still…momma needs her lightning bolts.” REALLY?), I spent a couple hours scanning the rosters, and started sending out crew invites like mad. I finally accepted the invites I’d already gotten. I accumulated a collection of Captains, Capitans and far too many “Captians.” Sure, 90% of the screen names that weren’t racist had 420 or some misspelling of “Chronic” in their name, but I didn’t care (though it did make me ponder why only pot-smokers advertise. I’ve yet to see “CaptainMethhead” or “CrankBaybee” pop up off the coast of Tortugua).
I assembled my crew and went back to find “HTLR_KSA.” I sunk him a couple times. My valiant crewmen “BootyRobbinThug,” “BALLZDEEP” and “urmomsthong” sent me lightning bolts, and I went back and got him again. I gifted “MindysMom420″ a Falconet cannon, and had only fleeting thoughts of calling child protective services. I finally started understanding why social gaming can be fun. Not because you’re interacting with friends and loved ones to accomplish a common goal…but because if you give total strangers something, they’ll give you something back, and that lets you go to sleep knowing a white supremacist will wake up tomorrow to a message on his phone that says “AvastMeFarty sunk your ship.”
It’s a hard job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
To date, Karla has 78 crew members she sends daily gifts. She has not spent more than $5 on Pirates of the Caribbean: Masters of the Sea, though she did make Jay sign up so she could get a 20 gem bonus. “AvastMeFarty” has destroyed 758 ships, most of them racists…a couple just had really low stats, so they were easy kills. I mean, c’mon, I’m a fucking pirate.