I am Eliza. I am nineteen years old. And I am addicted to DragonVale.
Many of us have been affected by DragonVale, though I understand that many people’s phases come at a much earlier point than mine did. In fact, oftentimes when I have mentioned it to friends they say something like “What? That app that’s like FarmVille for dragons?” and I nod quickly, it is Exactly that app that’s like FarmVille for dragons. My friends then look at me, they are often befuddled and a little bit incredulous as they say something like, “um I mean I guess I played that when I was like twelve.” There are people who will never appreciate DragonVale for all that it is.
I was first introduced to the app DragonVale by my friend Brendan in the weeks before winter break 2019. At the time, he was using it to take the edge off after hours of studying for his finals. He told me about his Fire Dragon, but that seemed typical and uninteresting. When he told me about his Water Dragon, I was intrigued. It was genius to a beguiling extent. I mean, how do they come up with this stuff? I downloaded the app, and I was hooked immediately. For the entire month-long break I was playing DragonVale. Although I was at home, I barely saw my family, but in a way, I made my own family. A family of dragons.
There is only one man who understands my love for my dragons. When I asked Brendan how he thinks of DragonVale now, he said this, “DragonVale is my utopic escape. No more death rates being touted in your ear, only a melodic tune, so repetitive you’ll hear it until your last day of being.” I would have to deeply agree, the music provides a soothing tune; it activates every molecule in one’s body as though these were the tones of crystal Tibetan singing bowls.There is no meditation like farming dragon food to help your babies grow. You can leave the rapidly deteriorating world behind as you think about whether you should rearrange the placement of your dragons, because the Fire Dragons are getting kind of close to the Ice Dragons, which seems dangerous.
Join me, and leave the real world behind. You CAN revert to a middle school version of yourself. (Take it from me, I dip-dyed my hair during the second week of quarantine.) There is no reason to upset yourself over the treachery of our president, not when you can breed a Light Dragon with an Air Dragon to get a “Hypnotic Dragon” which looks insanely trippy. Drop all of your worries regarding disease, we should worry instead about figuring out how the fuck you can breed a Lightning and Water Dragon if they’re normally incompatable. (Also, can someone please explain why it’s acceptable to breed a Water Dragon with a Fire Dragon but not a Water Dragon and a Lightning Dragon?) Global warming is nonsense if you have enough Cold Dragons. Forget to eat healthily, or at all; focus instead on keeping your Rainbow Dragon well fed. There never has to be a moment when you begin to think your dark and scary thoughts; I haven’t been alone with my thoughts in MONTHS. You can block all of the bad stuff out when you look at the loving smile of your Dark Dragon. Nobody will ever understand you the way that your Earth Dragon does. This game is always there for you; it can’t and it won’t leave you like everyone else does.
I don’t know a lot about a lot, and I don’t really know anything about online games or video games. They’ve never really been my style, you see, because I get very jumpy when it comes to fighting or fleeing or other active ‘playing’ of the game. I even sucked at Cooking Mama. I finally found the game that loves me for me, and sometimes love makes you do crazy things, like forget to talk to your friends and family, but isn’t it worth it to love and be loved by dragons?
“Are you playing that fucking dragon game again?” My best friend asks me over a video call, “Your face just lit up like a christmas tree.” Yes I am. Yes it did.