Ahh Foo-ey!

Last January when I was semi-shut-in and restless I signed up for my first Foo Pet.  A Foo Pet is a virtual pet–they began as a FaceBook app called GoPokey.  I didn’t know much about them at all–I barely have a FaceBook presence–and I don’t remember how I first discovered the site.

I got a beagle and he is fun to take care of. I somehow figured out the basic beginnings– instructions aren’t clear. I needed to earn points to feed and give my beagle flea treatments and I was offered extra points to validate my e-mail address and post a profile picture. I rarely post pictures of myself online, but this is a pet site, for heaven’s sake. I saw a couple of other photos of grown-ups, so I posted a head shot of my sweet middle-aged self.

A meebo chat popped up and I immediately began getting harassed by children, begging me for foodollars, telling me they were bored and insulting me as a freak for being on a kid’s site and not having a life. Off came the photo and I blocked meebo.

After awhile I found the forums. Not having much experience with forums, I was horrified at the rudeness and bickering that went on. Scamming by children. Adults getting into arguments with children over texting and taking poor care of the pixels that look like pets.

What I did learn was a little more about playing, decorating scenes and obtaining more pets. It was a needed break from real life for me and I began hoarding more pets.

There are other adults on the site but I haven’t made any friends–something that has always eluded me online. Yet, I continued to log in every day, bred a family of Siamese kitties and bought virtual antique furniture for my scenes.

Not being much of a gamer, I had no idea that the rules and play could change so drastically and often. It was confusing. There were usually no heads-up or instructions and there were a lot of glitches and problems with the new plays.

It amazes me how angry other members became. The outrage in the forums that have gone on for months now is contagious. I realize this isn’t a life-threatening situation in a third world country going on.  There is very poor communication between the members and customer service.

There have been ongoing, drastic changes in the game economy. Many folks feel manipulated and set-up to have to spend more money to continue. It’s becoming very expensive and many are leaving. Really, it’s hard to know whether there are a lot of happy players who don’t bother to voice opinions in the forums.

There are suspensions, members being banned, big-brother-type spying (or so I’ve read) and planned strikes and revolts. For me, it’s kind of like trying to look away from a train-wreck. I keep returning because I’m a bit fascinated and want to see how this turns out.

It really does seem that FooMojo despises their customers. It isn’t totally unlikely that they will try to sell the company or file for bankruptcy or that some other apocalyptic  thing will happen to the game. I am embarrassed that I’m involved in a site like this but I’m not ready to walk away. Conflicts and arguments online are such a total waste and I don’t have the energy to get involved in them. No one would miss me if I left–I could easily just delete my accounts. Yes I’m sorry to say, I have signed up for more than one account. I did that back when they were free. I really would not let a child of mine play after what I’ve learned about the site.

Today, that thing where I have difficulty with my nervous system was going on. I was clumsy and shaky and had poor manual dexterity. It doesn’t frighten me as much anymore because my healing is not a linear thing and this is just a part of a cycle. I adjusted my plans for the day accordingly–a good day for solitude.

A used book I ordered arrived–a book about face-reading. This isn’t the “Lie To Me” expression reading but part of a thousands-of-years-old system for reading features. Skimming through it, I noticed and felt validated that I have the burnt-out wrinkle of someone who works too hard. That may be hard for someone who happens to be reading my blog posts to believe.  There is also an anger flag about my personal life and suffering grooves. I know those facts to be true although I certainly don’t claim them as my identity or care to have people to perceive me in that way.

What it does is remind me again that experiences have lasting effects and choices do matter. I’ve developed a lot of character. In a quiet way.

So I have my own permission to play with virtual pets as long as it’s interesting and fun.