The Psychology of Petville

I was musing yesterday that Petville is a fascinating game from a psychological point of view. 

For the uninitiated, the game on Facebook effectively means you create a virtual pet.  It lives in a virtual house.  You earn money through visiting friends who also play the game and ensuring your pet is fed.  There are furniture, car, hardware and clothing stores where you can buy things so you can decorate and furnish your house any way you want, buy a car and outfit your pet in a snazzy outfit.  The more you earn the more items you can buy.  The more you buy the more “love” points you earn which provide you with additional levels where more rooms in your house unlock.

I’m fascinated though by whether there is a relationship with the type of person you are in reality and the actions on Petville.  Is the pet chosen indicative of a certain personality type?  Does the way you choose to outfit your pet have meaning? (Mine is naked as I refuse to dress the real cat in cute outfits and don’t see why I need to change this viewpoint for the virtual version).  Is the way you outfit your house on Petville similar to the way you outfit your home?  And what does that tell us about the personality of the person decorating the virtual house?

All very fascinating questions which I’m sure someone somewhere will attempt to answer if it hasn’t already been attempted by looking at online game-playing before now.

Personally, I’m thinking that all this means for me is that I’m spending too much time playing the game given everything else I have to do.  Hmmm.


Daily Horror-scope

I like astrology.  I used to be very into it at one point (can even do birth charts, etc) and find the concept of divining the future or gaining insight into someone’s personality from the alignment of stars in the sky fascinating.  So, I signed on for the daily horoscope on Facebook.   

I have to admit that most of this week I’ve been impressed by the coincidental accuracy – like the day it confirmed I would be dealing with financial matters when I went off to see the bank manager.  Today’s entry wasn’t so cheerful. 

Apparently, there’s a Full Moon.  It initially warned against travelling.  No problems there.  I don’t travel very much or very far at all these days.  (Which begs the question why I’m contemplating travelling round Canada in August but I digress).

It went on to to warn of being careful what I write in the next two weeks as it could lead to the ruination of my plans and reputation. 


I write a lot.

And I mean a lot.  Between the essays, the Aimhigher session handouts, the online reviews I do, the blog entries, the fanfic, the original fic…I write probably in the region of 15,000 words a week.  So I read the horoscope with something akin to horror.  I mean, which writing is going to be my ruination?  And what a word to use – ruination.  It’s a word which brings to mind more of a Victorian concept of ruination, I’m afraid, than anything else – I feel like I should have a fit of the vapors.  Perhaps I’ve already written whatever is the harbinger of my doom and it simply lies on my hard drive waiting to ruin me.

Yep, reading today’s horoscope was definitely not the stuff of cheerful positive thinking. 

In truth, I’m not taking it too seriously.  Honestly. 

But just to be on the safe side, maybe I’ll think twice before committing words to screen over the next few days…

Psychology and Petville

So, yay for me.  My second assignment came back and I got a wonderful 88%.  I’m a very happy bunny. 🙂

And yes, it was the experiment where I stumbled as I predicted.  Which is a little worrying given that the next assignment is to perform an experiment and do the report.  Hmmm.  Luckily, I have lovely friends who’ve volunteered to help out.  Which did prompt the thought that a lot of psychology studies must be performed using the psychologist’s own friends, colleagues, etc.  Which may be a tad worrying given some of the common psychological theorums around.

More worrying is how addictive Petville has become for me since my sister invited me to join on Facebook.  While I refuse to ‘buy’ more virtual coins (because seriously why would I exchange my real money for virtual?), my virtual cat who is named after the real thing is very appealing.  My real cat watches with a look of utter contempt and disdain although whether it’s for me or his virtual alternate I’m not entirely sure and would not really like to speculate given that I’m pretty sure it’s for me.

Social Networking

I’ve just spent a good hour wandering around and updating my profiles on the social networking sites I belong to – LinkedIn, Facebook and Friends Reunited (links added to my About Rachel page).

It’s amazing how social networking has taken off in the last couple of years and how many sites there are around the place that you can join to meet up with old colleagues and friends. What is also apparent is the growing importance that many are placing on these sites as a way to advertise business, gain new contacts, keep in touch, etc. And how you can link them all together in an endless circle.

While it seems strange writing this on what is a very public blog (although I think I’m safe in saying that this is being read by very few people), I am a relatively private person so the idea of being quite so visibly ‘out there’ is a weird one for me to get my head around. I’ve spent the last few years on the net using a very nice pseudonym that provides me with the blanket of anonymity.

However having spent years advising new joiners at IBM that the most important thing they could do for their careers was network, I find myself hoist by my own petard, because it is clear that social networking is becoming very important in that arena outside companies as well as within. Hence the time spent on the profiles today.

Although I’m still refusing to twitter. Refusing.  I doubt anyone has any interest in my twittering.