Archive for the 'Addiction' Category

What’s your longest break from Pet Society?

Today, I logged into Pet Society for the first time in over a week. Poor Sushi was being attacked by a swarm of flies when I found him.

While I was in London last week, I had trouble getting onto the game for a couple of reasons:

  1. The hotel’s Internet failed
  2. I was too busy touring the city and having fun in the real world

After I returned home, I didn’t log into the game for other reasons:

  1. I was too tired from jetlag
  2. I realized that Pet Society isn’t as addictive as I’d thought

That last reason has come as a real surprise to me. Some people, including tech writer Michael Arrington, has claimed that games are like cigarettes. I used to think he was right, but now I can say that’s not the case at all, at least not for me.

While I was in London, one of the Playfish staffers asked me if I was attached to my pet. I said, yes, I actually do feel affection for Sushi, and I start to miss him if I don’t log in every day. I like seeing his cute little expressions and hearing the cheerful Pet Society music. But that was more than 10 days ago. This is the longest break I’ve ever taken from the game, and the truth is, I haven’t really missed Sushi or Pet Society.

That’s not to say that I’m quitting the game. Just a few minutes of logging in today reminded me of how much I enjoy seeing Sushi and his little friends. Maybe I’m just feeling Pet Society fatigue, but I’ve been playing this game since November 2008. In terms of pet age, that makes Sushi a great-great-great grandfather. And perhaps it’s time for him to consider retirement… or at least take things slowly for a while.

Have you taken a break from Pet Society? What was the longest time you went without seeing your pet? Were you anxious to get back into the game? Or were you OK with the break?

Pet Society Diary Reveals Depth of Addiction

diary in pet society

This past weekend, a “diary” was introduced in Pet Society. This isn’t exactly a book about your pet’s innermost thoughts and desires. It’s more of a scoreboard of certain accomplishments. Interesting tidbits include the date your pet was “born,” or when you started playing the game.

As with many of the game’s new features, there are some kinks to be worked out. Many players have reported errors in gender and birth date. Sushi’s own diary shows the correct birthday but wrong gender. He is technically a boy, even though I like to dress him in girls’ clothing and make him kiss other cute boys.

Most surprising, however, is the last item called “Times We’ve Hung Out.” I assume this means the number of times I’ve logged into the game. When I saw this number, it was like a splash of cold water on my face. I had not realized how much of an addict I was until I saw the large number. I’m too embarrassed to reveal how many times I’ve “hung out” with Sushi in the past year and a half, but I will say that it’s probably way more than the times I’ve played with my real pet, or hung out with my real friends, or showed up for work.

THANK the Holy Rainbow Poo God that other people can’t see this diary. Just like a real diary, this is meant to be for your eyes only—and the staff at Playfish who’ve been compiling all this data.

How to See Your Pet Society Diary
Go to the bottom of your screen and click on the Books tab. The diary is the first book from the left.

diary in pet society

The Most Popular Girl in Pet Society

popularWow! This girl from Taiwan has over 3,200 friends in Pet Society. That makes her the most popular girl in the game. With so many connections, her pet, IceLashes earns tons of coins each day and lives a glamorous life in the virtual world.

The most popular girl in Pet Society used to have over 4,400 friends in the game, but lately, she’s been removing people who beg for items or have multiple aliases. However, she would like more Taiwanese friends—but not too many, as Facebook sets a limit at 5000.

While she’s an extreme example of someone who adds friends to advance in a game, many others are doing the same. How many strangers have you added? Twenty? Two hundred? Come on, be honest.

For an in-depth story about this girl and many other P.S. addicts, see my article on Inside Social Games and Gamasutra.

icelashes3

status

Note: If you are going to find this girl and ask her to be your friend, she wants you to specify “Pet Society Anonymous.” Otherwise she may not accept your request. Remember, she does not like beggars or people with multiple profiles.

Pet Society Overdose – Are you at risk?

Do you think you may be suffering from Pet Society Abuse (PSA)? Pet Society Abuse, also known as Pet Society Addiction affects millions of people around the world. Addicts forego the responsibilites of work and school and are constantly obsessed with feeding their pet, dressing it, and trying to pop out a golden poo.

At first, you might not recognize the signs of Pet Society Addiction. They may appear to be symptoms of another condition, such as dementia. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of Pet Society Abuse overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration. It is important to admit your illness and seek help immediately.

Signs that you may be at risk for Pet Society Overdose:

  • You feel intense pleasure and guilt when playing Pet Society.
  • You lie about how much time you spend on Pet Society.
  • Your profile on Facebook resembles this:

statusmuffintop

  • You curse loudly at your computer when your pet falls during a hurdles race.
  • You neglect to clean your real house, favoring to decorate your pet’s house instead.
  • You think that a pink Christmas tree is classy.
  • Your real cat/dog/lizard is wondering where the hell dinner is.
    The neglected victims of Pet Society Addiction.

    The neglected victims of Pet Society Addiction.

  • You have multiple accounts on Facebook so that your pet can have more “friends.” Or, you have taken over your boyfriend’s/husband’s/ girlfriend’s/wife’s Facebook account so that your pet can visit his/her pet.
  • Pet poo excites you.
  • When you hug someone in the real world, you fantasize that person to have a huge round head and a stubby body like your imaginary pet.

There is hope

You don’t have to feel alone. With counseling and support, you may find it easier to deal with the emotions and stresses of Pet Society Addiction. The first step is to admit that you have a disorder and seek the help of a trained professional.

In the meantime, here are instructions on how to hide your status on Facebook so that no one will ever know how much time you are really wasting.

  1. On your Facebook profile, click on Settings > Application Settings.
    Facebook's Application Settings

    Facebook's Application Settings

  2. Click Pet Society > Edit Settings.
  3. In the dialogue box, click “Never publish any stories from Pet Society.” Pet Society Abuse is a serious condition, but there’s no need for anyone to know how sick you really are. Remember, everything in moderation. Play well, play safe!

No one will know how sick you really are.

Tell Your Story

Got a great Pet Society story of your own? Post story and images on facebook.com/petsocietyanonymous. The best stories will be posted on this blog!

Pet Society Anonymous on Facebook

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Pet Society Anonymous by Soyon Im is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at petsocietyanonymous.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://petsocietyanonymous.com.

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