Three Players, One Farm, One Video Game.

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Three Players, One Farm, One Video Game.

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The lighting is dim. 2 lights integrated into the ceiling are lightly illuminating the living room, but otherwise the 4K TV mounted to the wall is illuminating the rest of what those bulbs don’t. Three seating arrangements are surrounding the rectangular, wooden entertainment place below the TV; one being a navy-blue bean bag, one a leather recliner, and the other a long leather couch. In each seat, one person has a Nintendo Switch and are playing a hit indie co-op game with each other: Stardew Valley.  On the first in-game day of Stardew, Gabe connected to Grace’s farm and started to clean up the scraps found around the property. Three players locally connected to each other, all using separate switches, share the same land.

Grace is the youngest player at the age of 6. Grace is a very tiny brown-haired girl, but doesn’t let you forget that she’s there. She’s normally the center of attention in the Gonzalez family with her dancing around, singing, and all-around energy. She’s what people would call the “Loose Cannon”. Stardew Valley is very text-based, which is a problem for Grace, who can’t read, but it doesn’t stop her because her older sister reads the dialogue and actions for her. That older sister is Ella, a red-head twelve year-old who is very different from Grace. While grace is mostly wild and charming in that sense, Ella is very quiet, but talks or says some witty remarks every now and then. Ella can be very forgetful, but is very focused on what she thinks matters. Gabe rarely comes onto Grace and Ella’s farm, but when he does he becomes the mentor/leader of the group. Gabe is 24 years-old and is the most tactile member of the family. He’s the type of person that will quietly study a scenario and find the best way to help himself and others. He is very patient, but will put you back in line if you’re in the wrong.

Grace is sitting on the bean bag, but is constantly moving at least one of her limbs. Gabe is sitting on the couch, legs criss-crossed and arms completely still as he stares at his console. Then there’s Ella, who is laying down on the recliner horizontally, so her head is on an arm and her legs on the other. “Who’s chopping down my trees?” Grace yells as she investigates the thumping sound that sounds a lot like an axe hitting a tree. “Gabe?” Gabe denies chopping down any trees. “Ella?” “I’m not even at the farm,” Ella replies with. Grace discovers that Gabe is putting tilled dirt back to its regular, non-tilled state. “Wait Ella- wait Gabe, I had seeds in that dirt!” Grace exclaims.

 

Gabe and Ella both try to explain that all that he’s trying to do is make it look better, but Grace keeps trying to explain that she’s tilling that dirt for a bigger farm. At some point Grace decided to just drop the problem and move on to collecting sea shells near the beach. Before she did this she started to snicker. “I put something in Ella’s house, don’t tell her,” she whispered. Ella had no idea about this mysterious prank because she was fishing in the pond in the farm, leading to catching trash the whole day. Gabe had a more exhausting day. “I’m cleaning up. I’m getting rid of all the logs and stones and stuff.” Gabe had to take a nap early at 4 pm because he used up all his energy. He chuckled at his situation and once he finished his nap he was back at it again.  

Grace kept trying to go to bed even when it was 4 pm. She kept thinking that it was night time, even when there was sunlight coming through her window. Everyone was laughing, but tried to convince her to get up and do something. She did not. “Now is it night time?” It was 8 pm. Gabe ran out of energy again and decided to head to bed. Ella decided to follow suit and found the prank that Grace planted in the middle of the day: clay. Grace put clay at the entrance of Ella’s house. Grace started to burst out in laughter, making Gabe and I laugh with her at the peculiar “prank” that she had pulled. Ella was just confused. She had no idea why this was funny because clay helps craft items, so she decided to sleep in confusion. This was 10 minutes. 10 minutes is a whole day at the Gonzalez farm in Stardew Valley.

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