Friday, July 12, 2013

Where #SavePetSociety Is Taking Me....

It may be that all games are silly. But then, so are humans.
~Robert Lynd
I'm not quite sure how to write this post without sounding like a complete lunatic, but I will give it a try anyway.

Over the past three months, I have gotten swept up in a protest movement to save an online Facebook social game.

Yes, that's right, I said a game.  A sweet little game called Pet Society.

Back in 2009, Pet Society appealed to me because I got to create my own pet, and you all know how much I really, really, really love pets.  Then I got to go visit other Facebook friends' pets and complete other in-game activities to earn coins.  With the coins I bought clothes for my pet and furniture and other items to design my pet's house and gardens.  I collected items and traded items, decorated and redecorated rooms to my heart's content and changed my pet's looks and clothes too.

In this game, my pet Miss Hiss could be whatever I wanted her to be.

What I discovered along the way is that Pet Society was a wonderful little world where all the pets were always smiling and always laughing. Sure, when you went to go visit a neighbor, there was an option to fight, but fights always ended with the pets laughing and making up.  There was an optimistic and carefree atmosphere in this game, something I often find hard to replicate and hold onto in real life...especially in today's world.

I believe there is truly something magical about Pet Society.  I admit that perhaps it is hard to explain exactly what that is to someone that didn't play this game.  On the one hand, it reminded me a lot of playing with my dolls when I was a girl, only better since everything was online and virtual, which meant no cleaning up after I was done playing.  On the other hand, the game revolved around and reminded me of all of the important things in life: friendship, love, fun, imagination and creativity.

And when I played Pet Society, it offered a distraction and respite from my life with daily, unrelenting chronic pain.

We all know that change is part of life -- people, things and states of being all seem to come and go.  So I guess on April 15th, I could have just accepted the fact that the game was closing on June 14th and decided to enjoy the remaining time I had with my pet Miss Hiss.  But then I found this Facebook group called Please Save Pet Society, and the next thing I knew, I was working with 32,000 people from all around the world to #savepetsociety.

I am still a sick chick.  Nothing has changed there.  But suddenly through this protest movement, I find myself with an opportunity to make a difference that fits with my life as a person with chronic illness.  To participate, I CAN sit on my recliner in my pajamas in my living room on my laptop computer.  My wonky sleep schedule isn't a problem and neither is my need to take frequent breaks or use my speech-to-text typing program.

The other very odd thing about all of this is how everything has come together surprising well when I have worked on tasks for the group.  For example, I called Electronic Arts (EA) in April and without much fuss got connected right away to someone there who I have been working with for almost 3 months now.  I have also networked on Facebook and Twitter and found contacts and resources that have helped our cause tremendously.

Quite frankly, I don't understand why this is so. The only explanation I can come up with is that the Universe wants me to be involved in this.  Weird, right?

Along the way I have been handed pieces of a puzzle, pieces that needed someone to put them together, and apparently that person is supposed to be me.   And when obstacles have blocked my way, I have found ways to surmount them and keep going, as if someone has been clearing the way for me.

This hasn't always been smooth going and there has been many times when I wanted to just walk away.  But then, as if the Universe really does have a plan for me, I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel that helps me find the energy and strength to keep going.

Yes, I have temporarily abandoned other things in my life, like this blog.  This crusade has taken up a lot of my energy, leaving me with less energy to do other things.  I feel badly that this has affected my other activities and relationships too.

But I do see these as temporary sacrifices that I am making so I can see this protest through to the end.  This is, after all, a once in a lifetime event, and I do feel oddly compelled to be a part of it.  I hope you all can see and understand this too.

Because in the end, wouldn't it be all kinds of awesome to be able to say that this sick chick was able to help bring back a beloved and cherished game to a million players all over the world from the refuge of her couch?


But if doing this makes you think of me as a silly human being, I'm OK with that too.

Here is where you can see what I have been doing as a part of a big team of other Pet Society players and fans:

*NEW* petition - sign and share, share, share! http://chn.ge/13MVq8c at Change.org


And check out this video with 2,800 views that I created for #savepetsociety too:

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