I have a new career. I breed and sell tropical fish. I just started 2 days ago, but I have already been so successful in my store that I have made thousands of dollars and discovered 45 rare breeds of fish.
I take it by now, you realize this is some sort of fantasy, right?
Well, it's better than fantasy. It's an addictive, fun and almost free application for the iphone called "Fish Tycoon". *also available to download for pc and mac.
I usually try to downplay my addiction to various computer-related things to my husband, as he tends to scoff at my online pursuits (even while he is in the process of ebaying/craislisting/youtubing, himself). He gets e-commerce. It has real money, and real rewards in the mailbox. Real people showing up to meet him in parking lots to exchange money for stuff. He gets it.
He does not get:
*role playing/SIM games
But this new game is so fantastic, and my addiction to it has been so rapid and complete that I don't even bother hiding it from him. I'm immune to his eye rolls at this point. And this one is so "ridiculous" to him that he actually laughs in a humorous way. Sort of.
The game consists of 2 tanks of fish, some cash in the bank, and a fish store. You manage your tanks of fish, feed them, breed them, research their environment, learn about advertising, and manage their nutrition, fertility, and longevity by purchasing improvements for your tanks with the money you earn selling the offspring. The game progresses in somewhat "real time", so you
develop patience as well as a bit of anticipation to see what glorious hybrids you come up with by breeding your inventory.
The kids are fascinated with my fish. They love to climb up to wherever I have stashed my iphone and poke around at my tanks. It does, after all, create bubbles and make a fascinating whooshing sound when you touch the tanks. And I suppose it's pretty harmless. But I can't help but worry that they might accidentally breed a sick fish or put my Greenfin Spotanus up for sale by accident. And that would be bad. Very bad.
I think SIM games are great fun. I remember at the dawning of the internet when all of my friends and I would swarm the computer labs at Centenary College to play "Foothills", which was a combination game/chatroom. It operated on DOS, which is kinda hard to even fathom now. It is good for me to escape and pretend. I have that dramatic streak in me, so "pretending" is like a daily requirement. And face it, it's fun to do something wild that I would never do in real life, like.....hmmmm...breed tropical fish! I have a hard time remembering to feed "H" (our real fish) in my actual life, so becoming a Fish Tycoon is indeed a break from reality, not to mention the fact that I have customers swarming my store to purchase $45 fish as quick as I can get them in the tank. Have these people not watched the Dow Jones? Are they not aware of the recession? Oblivious. Totally oblivious and loaded with discretionary income. It's a breath of fresh air.
So, I expect my obsession with my fish to last another week or so. Last night I didn't even get up to feed them in the middle of the night, and I can't seem to keep any of the really interesting or pretty ones around for long. I woke up to about 20 dead fish this morning. That really cramps the style of on online fish tycoon. What's the point of a game if it doesn't turn you into a rockstar? I could kill fish in real life. In my virtual reality, I want to rock the fish breeding world. And, I just can't see myself poring over genetic spreadsheets for a game the way some whackjobs out there do. I'm not that far gone.
Ooops. Gotta go. My Golden Goldbulbs are maturing, and I need to sell the suckers before they croak on me. Gotta love virtual reality.