Facebook Games Stopped Being Fun

Facebook Games are Addictive, Not Fun

I’m not playing any Facebook games now. I stopped. I got tired of the limited game play (being allowed only a few turns before I had to request more from friends). I got tired of having people I don’t know on my Facebook account (people I had added just for the Facebook games). I got tired of my Facebook feed being cluttered with game posts. I got tired of being pushed in subtle and not so subtle ways to pay (more) for the games when they gave me so little in return. Mostly, I had enough of feeling like a mouse in a wheel – putting so much effort into winning nothing. (Those little image files are even copyrighted, no matter how many you win you can not ‘own’ them or take them home or anything).

One day I realized I wasn’t having fun any more. I had a deadline to cook hundreds of dishes for Cafe World and not enough friends to help me get there. I could nag my real friends, who had stopped playing the game, to send me gifts. Or, I could buy my way there, with real money I needed for real things. I had already spent some money on the game, why not spend bit more? If I spent $20 I could have those cakes baked and get ahead another level up so I could cook new things.

Get back to the part where it wasn’t fun any more.

The graphics were cute, I liked my cafe (my farm, my island and my train station too) but I felt pressured to perform for the game, to collect items that were worthless in reality. My friends and family were not pleased with the amount of game requests in my Facebook feed. Even if you only send out one request to one friend on one day, the games now have unlimited access to your feed on Facebook and they can post whatever they like, as often as they choose – to everyone on your friend list (whether they play the game or not).

Also, when you allow a Facebook game/ application to access your account in any way, you are giving them all your information. Even beyond your Facebook account itself, they can find your account on other sites like Twitter, Blogspot, WordPress, etc. Each time you allow a Facebook game to access your information you are giving away a lot of information to someone you know nothing about. Facebook does NOT guarantee your privacy, security or safety.

You can join groups for fans of each game, They will become your instant friends and add to you database of gift givers. You can quickly end up with a list of a few hundred Facebook friends, all just for playing these games. These addicting games that want your money and will pull every cheap move they can think of to make you feel like staying and paying to play. You feel the goals they set you are worth working for, but they offer nothing in reality. When you walk away from the game your hands are always empty but your time has gone, with nothing really accomplished.

It took me a couple of false starts to finally break away from the Facebook games. There were a couple I hung onto. There were people I had met through the games who I felt I was letting down. Then there was the feeling of wanting to keep that city, farm, cafe open and growing. Also, the special plus of having the latest seasonal tree on my farm, the one I had to nag all my friends about just to be able to have it! One day it just didn’t seem any of that was really worthwhile any more.

Just Say No

So I fully and finally quit them all, just to the last train, farm, city and cafe. This weekend my niece asked me if I was still playing any of the games. It wasn’t easy, she’s just a kid, but I told her no. Instead we played another game, online.

I still like online games. I like having something simple and fun to play when I don’t have anything else I really have to do. So, I began looking at the sites where my nephew, Zack, plays online games. He has quite a few which he goes to regularly. The games range from simple to complicated. You can play board games, role playing games or strategy games, most of the sites have the games sorted into categories. I like the simple games where I just move the mouse around the screen. I may yet get into some of the free role playing games which have you create a character and then travel around the game world. I’m not quite there yet. I’m enjoying not being addicted to anything on Facebook. I find myself not using the site nearly as much, for any reason, now.

Kongregate is my favourite online game site now. You can open an account and move up levels as you play the games there. It gives you goals but doesn’t leave you feeling you’re working towards winning nothing. There are no fake prizes offered, just the goal of achieving another level for the sake of levelling up itself.

Know the Risks of Using Facebook

Avatar-Making for your Online Profile

avatar makingAn avatar gives you a face when you fill out a profile online. There are endless places you can use an avatar on the web: email signatures, blog comments, forum profiles, HubPages or any other site you create an account on.

For this post I am focusing on sites which let you create the avatar online, from start to finish. You may need a screen capture software to save your finished avatar in an image file on your own computer. Go to the home site for your web browser and look up the add-ons. I use Chrome and Firefox (at different times) both of those have simple add-ons which let you use screen capture right from your web browser.

Many online game sites will give you an avatar when you sign up to play their game. This is another way to create an avatar, but it requires you to register for the site and have an account first. If you are not interested in playing the game you can still create an avatar and save it on your own computer, but you will have to take the time to register for the site, first.

Creating an Avatar with Your Own Art

The avatar can be an image of your own choosing. Use a photo you have taken. Your own art/ drawings in an image file (png, jpg or gif files) are great as avatars too.

Modify the image to fit the size you need. Most profiles will have a size limit. Some will have a limit for the pixels/ bandwidth of the image as well. There are web graphic programs which can resize an image. Some have features which let you add text, change colours and change the shape of the image, give it a different background and so on. You can use software such as Gimp, for image editing.

Globally Recognized Avatar

Once you have your avatar go to Gravatar and set up an account. This is a free online service which gives you a globally recognized avatar which will automatically show up when you comment on WordPress blogs or use various comment services and forums online.

Try Making Your Own Web Avatar (last updated on March 18, 2012).

How to Stop Finding Language Arts Class Boring

Become Active in Language Arts

Change your way of learning language arts. Instead of sticking your nose in a book, get out there and find yourself new challenges, active challenges.

Get into storytelling. You’re not just writing a story, focus on how to tell the story.

Find spelling competitions at your school or groups competing in the schools in your area.

Join a book club where everyone reads the same book and then talks about it. What fresh insight could you bring to the group?

Read out loud. Have you ever read aloud before? It brings a new perspective to whatever you read if you say it rather than just read it to yourself.

Learn a new word every day. Keep a note of any new words you come across and don’t already know. Look up words you have a feeling you know what they are about but you never really checked to be sure exactly what they mean before.

Try word games like Scrabble, crossword puzzles and even the simpler word circle puzzles. Hangman is one of my favourite word games but you will need a friend to play with.

Does it all Seem too Complicated?

Really listen and break it down into steps. If you were giving instructions on the topic where would you start? Think of writing it out like a recipe, or telling a younger school kid about it. Peel apart the main steps from the extra information and work on that until you begin to see how it works, how it all makes sense.

If you really don’t understand ask questions, read more about the subject from different sources or ask a friend who seems to get it.

Think you Already Know it All?

Language is a skill we use every day. It could be easy to see it as something you already know. But, how much do you really know?

Test yourself.

Look for online language arts skills in spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. If you didn’t get perfect scores you still have something to learn. If you did get a perfect score you need a test for someone at a higher level. Don’t slack off and take a test for a kid unless you are a kid, at that reading and comprehension level.

What to do if You’re Bored in Class

If the class becomes boring because you already know the material being discussed or explained then you could skip ahead in the text book, or read parts of the text which the teacher skipped in order to speed through the lesson.

If you’re still in need of something interesting, ask a question. Put some thought into your question and make sure it is relevant to the topic.

If you’re too quiet for a question, take notes. Write down your thoughts about the topic the teacher is discussing. Write down the questions you could have asked. Then find the answers yourself.

Other than that, begin planning your next assignment for the class. If you get ahead now you will have more time for something else later.

Bored or Boring?

I’ve never forgotten the old saying about people who are bored. I believe it’s mostly true. You do have to be kind of boring in order to be bored. How can you not see something interesting to try, do or think in a world so full?

However, I have had times when I did feel bored with something. When I felt I had explored every facet, every inch and every possibility. I was sure I knew the subject so well there was nothing new for me to find and explore. But, there is always another twist on an old tale. You just have to perk up your interest in finding it.

In my experience people also become bored when they find the challenge too much for them. Instead of trying to work on it they back away from it and make it simpler. But, then it become too simple and this makes it less interesting – boring.

I think this is how people really get bored. They let things become too simple, without challenges. They stop putting a real effort into learning or understanding or creating new methods or new thoughts. When there isn’t something new or challenging about what you are doing, of course you will become less interested in it.

If you exercise your imagination, create a new challenge for yourself and don’t take the easy way out – you can’t possibly get bored with anything.

 How to Get Boring Homework Done – wikiHow

Bookpacking is Such a Great Word

winter readingI first heard of the word, bookpacking, in the Suite101 post which I have linked to below. I think it is great to have an actual, understandable, word for something I have been doing since I learned to read.

In the bookpacking post the writer combines bookpacking with exercise. I haven’t always done it that way, at least not deliberately. I do take the bus, walk along downtown, go shopping or even take a day trip or road trip. I always pack a book with me (and my camera for the past several years).

Bookpacking is such a great word.

Are you one of the people who typically carries at least one book around with you, where ever you go? Even if you might not get a chance to settle in somewhere and have the alone, or quiet time to read… do you always have a book, just in case? I do.

I don’t think you can take an eReader on a bookpacking excursion. It might get bumped and banged around, it could get wet or you may not have enough battery power to keep the lights on. Besides, there are always times when the old reliable paperback is just what you need.

The Elements of Successful Bookpacking

First, the book you want to read. Not just any book you happened to pick. You need a good book and a book you are in the mood to read. You could pick a book which is well written and seems to have a great story… but you just aren’t in the mood to read it for some reason. So, you need the right book at the right time.

Second, you need something to carry your book and other accumulated gear around with you. These days we often carry around more stuff in order to be green. I keep a backpack with cloth bags for grocery shopping, sometimes a reusable coffee mug too. The mug doesn’t work out so well if you stop at a second place before you have washed it out.

My backpack gives me space to stash my purse inside it too. If I’m on a longer trip I carry a map book, my camera, paper and pens and assorted other standard stuff (for me).

Make sure whatever you use to carry around your stuff is easy to carry around. Don’t pick something which is already a bit heavy, even before you pack it up. It’s only going to get heavier.

Next up is location. Not everyone can read just anywhere. I like semi-quiet. A little distraction with people watching is nice too. I tend to pick coffee shops. I really like enjoying a coffee while I read. Other nice places are libraries, museums, restaurants… pretty much any place with a comfortable chair, table and a niche that blocks out noise if it’s a busy place.

Assorted Extras

Bookmarks. Of course, you can turn down the top of a page. But this contributes to making books dog-earred. Meanwhile you can use anything slim enough as a bookmark. You could even use a real, actual bookmark.

Those real on-the-go sort of bookpackers might want a portable chair. However, this isn’t practical for the added weight of hauling it around yourself. For those with a vehicle to haul a portable chair around for them, it seems a bit redundant when you already have a nicely padded chair in the vehicle. But, it could be nice if you are on a bicycle or motorbike and want to take a break to read in the great outdoors. (Even then it occurs to me that a picnic blanket would be a better choice for it’s weight and multi-purposeness).

One thing I can not do is read on a moving vehicle. So, you may find yourself enjoying to read on the bus, ferry, and so on. There really are endless great locations to pull out your book and read a few pages or a few chapters if you have the time. If you do discover you can’t read on a moving vehicle either, just put your book away and try to look off into the distance for awhile. You may need to abandon the vehicle for at least a short time. Stop off at a coffee shop and read awhile, outside the vehicle or while the vehicle is parked.

On a Side Note…

There are a few times and instances when you shouldn’t bring out a book and read. Your brother may not think well of you if you bring a book to his hockey game and sit in the arena with your nose stuck in a book, not really watching his hockey game more than the odd quick glance up. Every once in awhile this comes up in my family. But, I am the only true bookpacker in the group. Still, its good to remember that not everyone is into bookpacking.

 

Bookpacking Combines Travel With Reading | Suite101  by Nelson Shogren

Fat, Ugly or Slutty

Some players like to send creepy, disturbing, insulting, degrading and/or just plain rude messages to other online players, usually women.

We think this is funny.

Why do they send them? There are a few theories. But instead of getting offended, we offer a method for people to share these messages and laugh together.

If having these messages posted online makes someone think twice about writing and sending a detailed description of their genitals, great!

And if not? We’ll all have another submission to laugh at. Feel free to send us your own at submissions@fatuglyorslutty.com. While the site is currently very xbox message-heavy, we do accept all messages, no matter what the game! PS3 players, PC players, and Wii players, don’t feel left out, we want your messages, too!

Fat, Ugly or Slutty.

Carmageddon Reincarnation Should be Available Soon

Carmageddon t-shirt

I asked if they could make the donations for the new Carmageddon game available for PayPal last year when it was on KickStarter. Today I found they actually did something about it. I don’t know how long it’s been available. I paid my $20 donation today. I hope it doesn’t turn out badly. When you sign up you agree it’s a donation and you won’t necessarily get a thing for it.

A Different 30 Day Blog Challenge (Personal Bloggers)

Here’s the entire 30 Day Blog Challenge list.

I’m slowly, very slowly, getting through this list (like it’s taking me months!).  If you want to join me, let me know and I’ll post a link to your blog.

Day 1: List 10 random facts about yourself.

Day 2: Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and describe how they became fears.

Day 3: What is the greatest amount of physical pain you have ever endured?

Day 4: List 5 things you would tell your 16 year-old self if you could.

Day 5: What are the 5 things that make you happiest right now?

Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

Day 7: What is your dream job, and why?

Day 8: What are 3 passions you have?

Day 9: What defines you?

Day 10: Describe your most embarrassing moment.

Day 11: Describe a few of your pet peeves.

Day 12: Describe a typical day in your life.

Day 13: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

Day 14: Describe 5 strengths you have.

Day 15: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Day 16: What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

Day 17: What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

Day 18: What is the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

Day 19: If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Day 20: Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

Day 21: If you could have 1 superpower, what would it be and what would be the first thing you did with it?

Day 22: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

Day 23: List your top 3 hobbies and why you love them.

Day 24: Describe your first job.

Day 25: If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

Day 26: What popular notion do you think the world has wrong?

Day 27: What is your favorite part of your body and why?

Day 28: What is your love language?

Day 29: What were your three favorite toys/games as a child?

Day 30: List 5 things you would hope to be remembered for.

via Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine with my morning quiet time?: 30 Day Blog Challenge.

Do Not Fear the Linux

I wrote this originally in March, 2012. It didn’t get finished but I’m posting it anyway now. It’s become a bit dated when it comes to what I’m working on and what I’m working with.

Why do people stick with MS Windows? I understand the fear of change, the lack of ambition to move from the status quo when things aren’t “all that bad”. But, Linux is free, it doesn’t get attacked with malware, worms and etc. I run Ubuntu Linux which is updated more often than Windows. Ubuntu puts out two new major upgrades (new versions) each year. They have a schedule for them. Plus, it’s free, did I mention that? You can reinstall Linux, you can try other versions of Linux from other companies and decide which suits you as a user of the OS.

The only downside I have found after 2 years of running Linux is not being able to use some of my old Windows based software. But, that’s my own laziness. I could use a Linux add-on called Wine. I’ve read a bit about it. You can somehow use all or most of your Windows software, run on Linux with Wine as the intermediary. Free too, of course.

I haven’t touched Wine though. I only miss the games once in awhile. If I really craved them I’d do something about it. Meanwhile, all the software I like for building websites, creating graphics, etc is available from different sources. Free too, as open source most often. I do find Ubuntu Linux is picky about letting me download software from the web. If I work within Ubuntu’s Software Centre we all get what we want. But, downloading from the web doesn’t always work. Ubuntu will, now and then, deny me the files I want to load up. So sometimes I’m running an older version for awhile, until Ubuntu’s Software Centre catches up and sends me the update in the auto updates from the Update Manager. It does keep track of the software I’m running, without me having to do anything.

I really don’t miss MS Windows at all. Ubuntu Linux looks like Windows. My web browsers run the same as ever, look the same as ever. However, MS IExplorer won’t run. But that shouldn’t be a surprise, right? I just thought it was funny at the time. I had seen a post about the new features for MS IExploer and thought I would take a look. I forgot I was running Linux; forgot or just didn’t think about it being the ‘enemy’ OS.

I thought I would make a list of some of the software I’m using these days. Mostly for myself. Likely I won’t think of a bunch of them until later.

KompoZer – Instead of MS FrontPage (I had an old version of FrontPage which I still like and will keep the CD even though I can’t use it).

KSnapshot

Shotwell Photo Manager

Filezilla – Which is the same program I was using for FTP before I changed to Linux. So no real adjustment there. It runs and looks just the same for either OS.

LibreOffice – I’ve only used it once. I’m just not that into huge Office software. I end up using a plain text Notepad file when I write. Most places I post my writing have an automatic spellecheck to give me that feature. The other Office features I just don’t use, never really have.

Google+ Just Needs to Lurk in Wait

Today I’ve begun to think Google+ will end up besting Facebook if they just wait long enough.

I don’t think Google needs to do anything, other than keep the service maintained, eventually Facebook will finish crashing and burning itself out. A lot of people have already stopped using Facebook, or they keep it for Facebook exclusive people and connections. Most of the people who actually use Facebook are either senior citizens, teenagers or people addicted to Facebook games. That crowd will narrow down as the seniors want to try something new and less complicated. The teenagers will outgrow the social feed marathons. If that just leaves people addicted to Facebook games, that’s not enough to keep Facebook afloat as anything but a gambling den. (In reality, Facebook games serve no purpose and they are  a lot like gambling addicts in the way they must collect web graphics and even spend money on getting more of them).

Anyway, it really seems to me that Google+ will be the winner of the struggle with Facebook, it will just take time.

Meanwhile, Twitter take heed. Don’t try to become more than you already are. Too many features will just make it complicated and ruin the simple function of a great idea.