Stardew Valley – To Game or to Garden…Why Not Both?

How do bookworms get into “Stardew Valley?” Well, for those who have met my husband, Alex, you may or may not know his background with computer software and video games. His knowledge in computer software is extensive, especially for someone who didn’t major in it, but his love for gaming and creating games is even greater. Therefore, when this bookworm married him, she found herself drawn into the world of games. And during a particularly rough patch in her life, she was introduced to the game, Stardew Valley.

Building vs. Fighting in Stardew Valley

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but many men in my generation and younger have little interest in Building Games – which I believe is the term for for games that focus more on growing and creating things and not on fighting. I know, at the very least, my husband would rather play a game like Zelda, Warframe, or Super Smash Mario Bros. But, for those of us who would rather do something other than combat, Stardew Valley is the perfect game. Why? Let me provide the short answer.

As the main character in Stardew Valley, you get to escape from your daily grind job and farm on your deceased grandfather’s farm. After clearing the land and producing your first small crops, you can then more easily befriend the locals…and even choose to marry one of them!!…and buy more seeds, to produce better crops.

You can also raise farm animals, update your house, go foraging throughout the valley, and fish. There’s also mining, where the creator did create some personal combat. But, after fighting through the main mines and receiving the Galaxy Sword, combat in Stardew Valley is much simpler…maybe even a little enjoyable…. LOL!

How Stardew Valley Inspired Me to Garden

Though I’ve lived in a farming community for most of my life, I never had any interest in it until I played Stardew Valley. To be sure, I know farming in real life is much more difficult than in Stardew Valley, for I had to learn that lesson the hard way. But the joy in receiving crops in the game also managed to transfer over to me having joy in growing some vegetables in the backyard. It is something I had never done before, and something I hope everyone learns to do.

Gardening, when someone has – pardon the phrase – lead in their butt, like I do, can be extremely difficult. And thank God for the two men in my household who do all the hard yard work! But to take a cultivator and grind deep into the ground to plant some potatoes is honest hard work. To see the potato plant leaves emerge and grow brings excitement. And to have a bountiful harvest, much like Alex and I had when we planted and watered the Yukon Gold potatoes, brings much, much joy!

And, to be perfectly honest, it’s all thanks to Stardew Valley. The game that had given a young woman some happiness when she needed some lifting up. And that, according to this ignorant, burgeoning gamer, is a game worth it’s money.

Stardew Valley’s Creator, Eric Barone

As a game developer, my husband greatly esteems Eric Barone, who created Stardew Valley. During the initial month when I played through the came incessantly, Alex continuously checked up on how Barone (a.k.a. ConcernedApe) created certain game aspects, and he tried to figure out what techniques ConcernedApe used. In other words, he was fanboying, which was cute, though all I really cared about was playing the game.

However, now that a year has passed since this initial month, I can honestly say that Eric Barone seems like a genuinely kind young man. For, when I took some time to crochet some purple Junimos, as found in Stardew Valley, my husband texted ConcernedApe, asking if I had permission to try and sell them. He replied about three weeks later with a simple, “Sure, I don’t mind.” And for a man who made it big with one self-made game, that means a lot to people like my husband and I.

Support ConcernedApe and Play Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley has come out on many video game consoles by now, as well as on iPhones, and I highly recommend the game. Many of the game concepts appear true in the real world, such as the various fruits and veggies, and even the Chinese blue chicken, and is therefore somewhat edifying. Though, some of the awesome game concepts are obviously fake, like the decay-preventing clock and the scepter that brings you to your front porch from wherever you are….

But, as a girl who went to college and graduated with honors, I learned more about how the real world works through this game. The hard, laborious, grinding tasks that make men and women feel good at the end of the day. And I learned how essential these men and women are, despite how so many people (especially here in California) look down on people who lumber, drill, mine, fish, and so on.

So, thank you to everyone who provides the basic essentials which create the clothes I wear, the food I eat, and the shelter over my head. And thank you, ConcernedApe, for opening my eyes to their existence and importance, to both me and everyone who has ever lived and breathed.

So come spring, and when I plant those Yukon Golds and Russets, please bring forth a bountiful harvest. Much like I would bring forth in Stardew Valley.