Tiny Weird Future Farm v1.1 commentary

Is Tiny Weird Future a commentary on Facebook games, Zynga games, or computer games in general?   Although these critiques are nothing new the use of twine offers a different perspective.  In the beginning of the game you discover your “crazy weird uncle” has just died.  Immediately you are met with two decisions; sit in your apartment or play this game you just inherited from your uncle.  In actuality you aren’t given real options the twine passages cycle until you choose the passage to “get farming” and so I got farming.  Click, Click, Click my mouse is all I did and there were no flashy lights, or celebratory music to keep me going. The plot is basic,  you have 60 turns and in those turns you must feed the cow, plant your beans, and keep the vampires away by any means necessary.  These actions are done by clicking from a list.   The game is so easy I heard my self saying “WTF T.W.F”?!?!   The simplicity of hypertext  unmasks the  grandeur of games like farmville and vampire wars.  The satiric parody TWF takes away all of the flashy lights, sounds, and most of the incremental rewards to reveal how games like farmville or vampire wars are similar in their simplicity.  We get the sense that this is also an escape from reality by the use of words to describe the apartment.  The narrator refers to the apartment as “crappy” when you are given the option to leave the game.

Tiny Weird Future Farm scene prior to "farming"

Tiny Weird Future Farm scene prior to “farming”

 

TWF Farm

TWF Farm

Tiny Weird Future juxtaposes the repetitive game you are playing and your virtual reality apartment.  These two worlds in the game are your only option.  Because we are removed one level from the game we are able to recognize the hopeless scenario created by the players relationship to the game.  The character you plays’ reality shows that  other than this game and their modest apartment, the player has nothing better to do with their life.  It is easy to dismiss the validity of the character as unrealistic because nobody in “real life” would be forced to play a game.  The actuality is computer addiction is a real thing and can be triggered by traumatic events like death of a family member.    Perhaps the game is a coping mechanism for the player.  Whether TWF Farm is an escape or a distraction, walking away from virtual beans, cows, and zombies is practically impossible for the player.

 

  4 comments for “Tiny Weird Future Farm v1.1 commentary

  1. bosco1213
    March 31, 2014 at 1:35 am

    I believe your analysis of this IF is spot on. I got the same feeling that it was poking at computer addiction and someone’s escape from reality as well. Mainly because of the choice to keep playing even after they “escape”. Like you said, they do not have anything better to do in their sucky apartment, so they just go play a game where they protect something to make themselves feel better and like they can take on anything. Yet, they are still unable to take on reality and end up back playing the game. I really feel for this character. Too bad he/she is stuck in that loop forever.

  2. scolliga
    March 31, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    This is a great piece to talk about. In addition to what was already pointed out, think there’s a lot going on with the title as well, as far as what it could be suggesting. The games found on Facebook and smartphones are some of the most odd, yet deceptively simple, repetitive, and somehow completely engrossing time wasters the human race has ever been exposed to. It seems only natural that given the simple formats and goals of these games, they will eventually blend into one single game with a bizarre story with the most marketable elements based on previous successes. The “uncle,” if anything, was making the next logical step in time wasting. The future, based on this image, will be very tiny and weird indeed.

  3. kmunnis
    March 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    You mention how in the game there are no celebratory lights or music or anything that the highly repetitive games we have are giving us. It’s amazing how far just some nice graphics, music and trivial incentives will go, in order to hook people into spending massive amounts of time just clicking and clicking. Yet, being addicted to facebook games Farmville is still rather accepted, people aren’t out right scorned for being a time waster or asked if they’ve been really stressed lately (perhaps they have a weird uncle that has died?). Overall I really like what you had to say about TWF Farm and how it offers a different perspective to these games.

  4. eng1
    April 7, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I think you’re right that this game might be a satirical game made as a laugh against Facebook games, iPhone games, etc. It’s an interesting way to put that because we are removed from the game we are able to recognize the hopeless scenario because for many of the Facebook, Zynga, etc games, most people cannot see the pointlessness of raising digital farm animals and plants. That, or they see the hopelessness but still continue to play the game. Actually, I know many avid facebook game players (farmville, candy crush) where they don’t see it as wasting time at all but as an accomplishment when they clear levels and share lives with their friends. Since there is no escape from farming in TWF Farm, maybe it’s saying that once you start one of these repetitive, alternate life games that you cannot stop until there is nothing left to do.

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