I Inherited My Grandpa's Farm

...in Stardew Valley.

I'm obsessed with the farming simulation game Stardew Valley. It’s a game in which the player inherits their grandpa’s farm when he passes away. After a lifetime of working in the office, the player ultimately decides to quit their job and live in Stardew Valley, becoming a farmer just like their grandpa. If you’re a fan of another farming simulation game called Harvest Moon, you will absolutely love Stardew Valley! I’m a bit late to the game considering it came out in 2016, but the game is timeless and absolutely lives up to its hype. 

There’s not a lot of action in the game compared to other popular video games. I do think that there is a misconception about people who play video games, as they are often stereotyped as playing really high intense, arousal-inducing, violent video games- yetStardew Valley is the opposite of that. It promotes a sense of calmness and has the player focus on everyday tasks such as planting and watering crops, mining for copper ores to upgrade tools, and fish in the various and many bodies of water that Stardew Valley has to offer; you also have the opportunity to interact with and give gifts to the other villagers in the town. The game immerses the player in mundane tasks that you would normally overlook in real life, yet want to do in your Stardew Valley life. 

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I had once had an assigned reading by a woman named Sherry Turkle, entitled “Always On/Always-On-You: The Tethered Self.” In the reading, she discussed why it is that we feel tethered to different media devices. She wrote about how many adolescents are especially tethered to ideal video game versions of themselves, but with good reason. She interviews Rhonda, a teenager who is attached to her Sims version of self, and says, “Rhonda ‘practices’ on the game at breakfast, during school recess, and after dinner. She says she feels comforted by her virtual life. The games do not connect her to other people. The game responds to her desire to connect to herself.” Rhonda and other teens use video games to escape. Not only are we able to ease the tension we feel from life, but we can also create new worlds to explore so that our current world doesn't feel so small. 

Stardew Valley allows me to escape from the tension and stress of school because I can be "Farmer Jackie" who lives a simple farming life of watering my blueberry plants, mining for gold ores, fighting ghosts in the mines, and giving gifts to my fellow villagers so they can be happy. Then our friendship levels gain a heart so that one day I can marry Harvey the village doctor. Stardew Valley is just one of those games that's good. The soundtrack is even something I play while I go to class- it calms me, and it brings me back to the enjoyable farming life I experience within my game.