‘Happy Farms’ Game Destroys Chinese Jobs, Relationships

happy-farm-internet-farmer

From nongchangren.cn:

Forgetting to steal crops on QQ Happy Farms cause lovers to break up and couples to divorce

Recently, the first thing Chinese netizens do upon turning on their computers each day is “grow crops” and “steal crops”. This is a game called “Happy Farms”. Even though “stealing crops” online cannot bring any real benefits to the players, more and more people are joining the game and getting addicted. Because of this game, some players have been fired, lovers have broken up, but none of them can stop “Happy Farms” from becoming increasingly popular. The game developers only allow 2 million new players every day, but there are still more people waiting to play. If you are not a “farmer”, you are behind the times. So why are Chinese people so crazy about this game?

Introduction to “Happy Farms”

“Happy Farms” is a resource management game based on farms. In this game, players act as owners of the farms. They have to do all the work of cultivating, irrigating, fertilizing, spraying, harvesting and selling crops. Each action will add points to the player’s level. In the game, a player can not only act on his own farm, but also on his friends’ farms. Thus, people can be very kind players who help their friends manage [their farms], or they can be mischievous players that steal crops from other players. All these action help the players get bigger farms.

2 million new players every day cannot meet the demand!

Since the QQ Happy Farms was released to Chinese netizens at the beginning of September [before that, the game was only available for VIPs], a huge amount of Chinese netizens have begun to play this game, and have become more and more addicted. The players work from dusk to night to “grow and steal crops”. By midday, the 2 million openings for new players have all been taken.

Shocking stories about the “Happy Farms”

June 26th, a netizen called “eifeng” posted an article called “Playing web games at work, that’s awesome!”. He said there was an official in Wenzhou city that was fired because she was online playing the game. The reason she was playing the game was because she was worried someone would steal her crops.

Another story happened in Nanping, Guangzhou province. It is about a couple who had been together for 4 years. But after they started playing the game “Happy Farms”, their relationship was on the rocks. The boy called Xiao Ke had to work late, so he told his girlfriend to set the alarm and help him manage the farm while he was gone. But unfortunately, Ke’s girlfriend was pregnant, so one of the nights, the alarm didn’t wake her up. When the next day came, Ke found that not only did his girlfriend not harvest the crops, a lot of his crops were also stolen by other players. Ke got really angry and had a huge fight with the girl. In the end, they broke up and got rid of their baby.

People enjoy life on the “farms”

A Xi’an netizen “Yi You” said, recently, more and more people who live in cities like going to college and experience being a farmer. When people get tired from work, they go to their own farms, take care of their crops, pull out weeds. It is really delightful to forget about the pressure in cities.

Another netizen called “Yi Bu” also put forward his opinion. Yi Bu said he grew up in a small village, and then he went to a city, becoming a successful businessman. But now he misses the life in the village and “Happy Farms” makes the country dream possible in his office. Yi Bu said everytime he sees his crops, dogs, and grasses, he feels like he is in the village again. When he is working on his farm, he can feel the breathe of nature, and get happiness from farming and harvesting.

happy-farm-fired-worker

"I heard it was because he stole the boss's crops."

Happy Farms has been available to Kaixin001 members for a long time. Below are some Chinese netizen comments from a NetEase article:

网易匿名网友:

When everybody around me was talking about Kaixin001 [playing Happy Farms], I was very confused: Why would people be so addicted to a stupid video game? But then I found that all the dreams of having houses and fields, which are very hard to get in real life, are very easy to be realized in the game. I think I know the reason why the game is so popular.

快乐去飞:

People have to know how to control themselves. Everything has a standard. If we are addicted to something, it is physically and mentally unhealthy. We should focus on our work in the office. Games are  just games. I prefer to travel with my family when I have time off.

清水煮三国:

Everything has two sides. We will not stop eating because we are afraid of dying from choking. Happy Farms is simply relaxing entertainment, and I highly doubt that people will stop playing video games at work if Happy Farms is totally forbidden. All we need is a proper way to treat the game.

搜狐匿名网友:

I like Happy Farms. I enjoy cultivating, irrigating, spraying, and harvesting. My high-pressure work, and cold tall buildings makes me feel like I cannot breathe. I have to turn to virtual nature, have my own house and farm. I wish I could have a real house and farm, but it seems so far away.

chinese-girl-playing-happy-farms

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  • capt. nullz whatever

    I grow shit everyday bitches!

    FIRST POST!

    • VeerLeft

      I grow a tail about 3 times a day! It breaks off though…splash. :(

  • Bokamba

    How could people be so obsessed with ensuring that their virtual crops don’t get stolen?! I love computer games, and I play them a lot, but never to the point that it affects my work or my personal relationships. And I have never lost the perspective that “it’s just a game.”

  • http://www.icexpat.com loller

    The irony is that the majority of these white-collar, middle class workers look down on the tanned farmers who invade their cities, then go to their office to live out their dreams of becoming a farmer.

    Also, Harvest Moon is infinitely better.

    • J

      They look down on them for probably two reasons. 1) lack of manners/ettiquete and 2) lack of money, probably not because of farming.

    • http://kristof.reischina.com Kristof

      If chinese white-collars are not playing online games during working hours, they are chatting. It’s even a common practice to take a nap in the office after lunch.

      Problem is that the chinese companies don’t pay them a descent salary. On the other hand, chinese wite-collars don’t really work in the offices as they don’t receive a descent salary. It’s like a self-sustaining system : I don’t work for small money (the employee) and I don’t pay a lot because you don’t work (the boss).

      Unions don’t exist in China… so the poor will always remain poor.

  • Taojas

    I have seen people play it… It must be the most retarded “game” ever made. Tencent are smart operators though – you can get a dog to protect your farm but you need to pay REAL cash to buy one (not QQ funnymoney). But it’s not the only brainsapping QQ game around – other quirky titles are “Happy animal breeding farm” and “Happy aquaculture business”

    “When he is working on his farm, he can feel the breathe of nature, and get happiness from farming and harvesting.” LOL Yeah its his CPU fan blowing in his face!!

  • Alikese

    “Ke’s girlfriend was pregnant, so one of the nights, the alarm didn’t wake her up. When the next day came, Ke found that not only did his girlfriend not harvest the crops, a lot of his crops were also stolen by other players. Ke got really angry and had a huge fight with the girl. In the end, they broke up and got rid of their baby.”

    Jesus Christ. I could see getting into a fight and breaking up for a few days, but getting an abortion over an internet flash game? Something tells me they weren’t ready to have a kid in the first place.

    I’m sure that this game is a fad and people will grow tired of it. In a few months they will look back and laugh about how much time they wasted on it, and how many abortions they had.

    • Tony

      It’s probably for the best; would you want these two as parents?

      • Camela

        I’m with Tony that it’s for the best.

        In a few months they will look back and laugh about how much time they wasted on it, and how many abortions they had.

        Hahahahaha!

  • warped0ne

    You’ve gotta be facking kidding me! Get a life people.

  • Yin

    Proves that Chinese people are peasants at heart.

    • Rick in China

      I was going to say you can take the farmer off of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the farmer.

      • VeerLeft

        Bwahahahahaha…

    • Camela

      Heh, is this why I just can’t get interested in this game even though people keep trying to get me to play it? No farmer in my blood. Only crooks on one side and eggheads on the other. ;)

      • Master C

        Moll or Meganekko?

  • Parapraxis

    Ehh, a drop in the bucket compared to the wrath that World of Warcraft inflicts on its players.

    Anything can cause breakups if it’s extreme enough. At least they’re not stabbing each other over a +5 staff of virginity.

  • PUSAN PLAYA

    One day I hope technology will let me bring President Park back to life, after the revolution we’ll ban Starcraft, make the Communist bandits bow before our mighty will and legalise weed.

    • tk 4 lyfe

      smoke weed every day biatches~~~!!!

  • http://timurileng.blogspot.com Zhang Fei

    Taojas: “When he is working on his farm, he can feel the breathe of nature, and get happiness from farming and harvesting.” LOL Yeah its his CPU fan blowing in his face!!

    Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe farming will become such a cool pastime that tens of millions city-dwellers will flock to rural China to experience for themselves the crisp clean smell of fresh (human) manure that is part of organic farming and to commune with nature (i.e. flies and other exotic insects) while squatting over a honey pit in a charmingly ramshackle outhouse.

    • Mike Fish

      You are a wordsmith sir, a writer of words, beyond pale, truely, no mocking.

  • http://timurileng.blogspot.com Zhang Fei

    Jesus Christ. I could see getting into a fight and breaking up for a few days, but getting an abortion over an internet flash game? Something tells me they weren’t ready to have a kid in the first place.

    This sounds like one of those “too good to verify” stories. Kind of like the one where a reporter said that a food vendor was using cardboard to make meat buns. There’s another possibility – the reporter made it up.

  • hector

    This story is bollocks.

    And yeah, they do cultivate veg in human poo in parts of China. Seen it wiv me own eyes too…

    • schlepping in szx

      mmm … hepatitis

  • Joe

    I always said the Chinese were addicted to stealing (and more so, lying).

    This just proves it.

    • whichone

      What’s your theory on people who play Grand Theft Auto?

  • JMoneyMonkey

    its like black people and dice

  • FYIADragoon

    How to keep videogames from ruining your life in a SINGLE EASY STEP:

    Don’t be a tool.

    Seriously, if you don’t have enough self-control to regulate yourself in something like video games, how can you call yourself an adult? If video games are so hard, what about actual addictive substances? God, people need to stop blaming the games, and look at the root issue here.

  • LongTian

    I play that game too, at kaixin001.com, but I don’t see how people get addicted to it. It’s not fun, just a way to zone out if you have nothing to do. On the other hand, I see Chinese co-workers on it constantly at work, even skipping duties and meetings to make sure that they harvest their crops on time. Wouldn’t want to lose a chance at fake money! I can understand, in a way, how people can get wrapped up in an online world like Warcraft, where they build relationships and have “jobs” and whatnot, but I in no way see how my co-workers can take this web-game, which has no online society, so seriously that they skip work to harvest their crops. It’s ridiculous. I’m a level 46 farm, and sometimes I don’t play it for weeks.

    • dace

      Yeah, there’s a dude in my department was almost fired for switching back and forth between this game and his work every 5 seconds. Seeing as half the news sites and other shite I want to read are blocked in our office, (including QQ, MSN and other IM platforms), I can’t see wtf they don’t just block this shite too.

    • Master C

      I was about to thumbs up your comment but when I saw that you were at Level 46 (whatever that is) I decided not to.

  • dave

    The girl in the last photo apperas to have a nice pair:)

    • schlepping in szx

      This is the best comment so far.

  • Yiu-cho Chan

    I have to agree with “Parapraxis” that this really is small potatoes compared to other games that the western world is more familiar with, most obviously World of Warcraft and Halo.

    I remember reading a story back in the US a couple years ago of a boy that killed his mother because she forced him to stop playing Halo.

    Also remember several stories about many people dying of hunger and exhaustion while playing Starcraft and World of Warcraft (this includes Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Americans, Canadians, etc.).

    I think it’s very naive to pigeonhole this into the fact that Chinese people are all peasants at heart. It’s not all the older generation that are playing these games. In fact, the majority of people playing these games are the young people that feel more and more disaffected as “progress” continues in China, and have never even touched or seen a farm. It’s a shame that people are turning to this, but this is the price of such speedy progress. For God’s sake, it hasn’t even been one whole generation yet since they’ve begun to drive cars.

    If we’re going to look at this and throw insults and laughter in one direction, then we should also reflect a bit on our own society, as westerners.

  • BaoBei

    For those of you making stupid generalizations about Chinese and their tendencies because of the popularity of this game. . .take a quick hop around the great firewall and look at the #1 Facebook game application BY FAR, it’s a little game called “Farmville” released in early June… the game is pretty much the same as this.

    I don’t know when the version for Kaixin was released, but I’m pretty sure one group of game developers (US or China) saw the popularity of the game and decided to copy the other. But if i had to place my bets on which group of developers did the copying. . .

    • krdr

      Just wanted to say same thing. Actually, the simplier game is, the more addictive game is. With one twist, in “Farmiville” you cannot still the corps, and, as I see it, most of players steal or keep from seatling their corps. Or they can buy a dog for some kuai.

    • 水溶C100

      “For those of you making stupid generalizations about Chinese and their tendencies because of the popularity of this game…” Baobei

      Thank god somebody said it!!

  • jacare

    if it was ‘naked farming’, all of you haters would be playing it too…

  • http://rjsteinert.com R.J. Steinert

    This is a perfect example of anomie as described by the sociologist Durkheim.

  • paparoti

    this is shanzai version of facebook game…

  • Somethin Somethin

    Nope the kaixing one was first. My office was playing mob wars when this shit came out. All my chinese friends were like “dude” you’ve gotta play this man. Its gotten to be quite crazy though. Lasting for at least a year or more.

    As to the jumping over the great firewall comment…do you really need to remind those of us in occupied territory that we have the slowest, crappiest, access to the net this side of North Korea?

  • xoxo

    Why you guys so addicted to it until some people drop their jobs & family? Nonsense…come on, it’s just a virtual game to have fun & release tension.

  • http://laowaiink.blogspot.com Mark

    My wife checks it about three times a day, spending about fifteen minutes/day total. She says it’s amusing but she’s getting a little bored with it. I guess it’s kinda like Minesweeper, Bejeweled, or Solitaire in the West. Mind-numbing yet still fun in a familiar sort of way. I think Happy Farms is straight-up retarded, personally.

  • snopp doggy dog

    yeah the Chinese need more diversion to keep them from noticing what miserable fucking lives they have and that they get paid $150 a month for working 60 hour weeks and employers treating like crap.

    Thanks TENCENT for keeping the masses quieter while their government grow more oppressive on a daily basis.

  • Hidari

    Wow, from the description this game sounds really bad haha

  • LongTian

    If you really want to see something mind-numbingly boring, go to http://www.kaixin.com and check out the dog training game. Basically it’s just repetitive clicking and animations as you throw a frisbee. If the dog catches the frisbee, you get 3 points. You can’t feed the dog without points. If he misses it, you lose a point. I saw Chinese co-workers play it for about a day, then give up in disgust.

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  • James

    HAPPY FARMERS = GOLD FARMERS!! :P

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  • Master C

    Some advice for all the * IDIOTS * playing this online game. Go buy a real farm and live a real life. If you can’t afford a farm yet, then work harder and save more, and make it a reality, not waste time and bury yourself in fantasy.

    I do feel that all governments could give out plots for free with certain conditions so that all these would be farmers will be doing something REAL and not wasting their lives.

  • Hans

    Shit man, that just proves immaturity. How come you can divorce your wife or abort your baby just because of a game? that is totally f***ed up thing.

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  • fireworks

    Heard the desert is spreading rapidly than China is using its arable land to grow food and increased production.

  • R.A

    IT HAS NOTHING TO DO FARMING!!!! you stupid morons!
    it’s just about interacting with people.
    doesn’t matter if it was harvesting vegetable or operating a resturant or “making of celebrity”

    It’s the same thing as those war battle webpage games, it’s about operating and conquering.

    I agree it’s idiotic to let games effect your life;
    but please stop being a stupid f-ck and think it’s all about farming.

    The dickhead who wrote this article is biased too, I’ve heard people say it’s fun to guard and/or to conquer but I’ve never heard anyone saying they play it for “smell of fresh farm air”

    Only brain dead would believe this BS

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  • xtaaxtw

    Yes, happy farm is very popular now in china. Several of my friends grow crops and steal crops,and never forget it every day , but I am not interested in it. They said that when they steal crops they feel very enjoyable, it seems I have to try this popular form of entertainment now!
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  • zhou

    you people have too much free time on your hands, perhaps go work on a real farm. as for aborting a bby over a game, that’s absurd, crazy

  • http://game.siamha.com/ game

    Nonsense

    come on, it’s just a virtual game to have fun & release tension.

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