“I live for petty passive aggression”
The odd magic of routine in Sta rdew Valley
completed Titanfall2 over I the Christmas break, and I found it stressful. The demands of Respawn’s mech shooter – that you sit up for extended periods of time, and pay attention to what’s happening on screen – left me looking for lighter fare.
StardewValley’s sense of routine and grindy harvesting of resources for cash is the opposite of the sort of game I’d normally play. You wake up every morning, check the TV for the weather forecast, and check the fortune teller to see if anything decent will happen to you. Then you go farm until you’re sleepy, and hope you find a geode – basically a treasure egg – to crack open and sell the contents of. There’s more going on in the town, but this repetitious labour is the thing I find the most compelling for some reason.
The sense of routine is oddly reassuring. I assumed the reason millions got into
StardewValley was the farming management side of things or the neat pixel art, but for me the appeal is getting up every day and doing the same thing. I chop down the long grass, bash through the rogue logs and shatter stone with no intention of ever improving the slightly crappy farm I’ve inherited. I’m raising funds by putting the stuff I collect in the box every day, but what am I going to do with the cash? I quite like my farm looking crap. Perhaps the other villagers will judge me? I hope they do. I live for petty passive aggression.
I spend one day going into town just to see what’s around. Everything in Pierre’s is overpriced, in my opinion, but hey, he’s got a business to run. I speak to one girl in the shop, Abigail, who seems very nice. Seconds later, however, as I decide to investigate the bins outside, she catches me and freaks out. Jeez, so judgemental. I decide to work out the shame by smashing some rocks before going to bed at 4pm because I got tired quickly.
If I actually owned a farm, this is what my day would be. Wandering aimlessly around shops, shaming myself in front of someone I’ve just met, then only managing two hours of physical labour before needing 12 hours of sleep to recover.
I look forward to waking and finding more ways to embarrass myself.
Cheer up, Lewis, at least we’re all on the property ladder.
I bet he does.