When the Toronto Star broke a story of Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged addiction to alcohol, the reaction was predictable. The media was gleeful, Ford responded viciously, and his brother leaped to his defense. Hamilton’s own mayor, Bob Bratina, has had a more silent struggle: An addiction to the social media game, ‘Farmville.’
“I reached out to Ford this morning on the phone,” says a contemplative Bratina, “because he doesn’t have to struggle alone. I keep telling myself I’m not the mayor of Farmville, I’m the mayor of Hamilton. I’m getting help. I’m letting my team tend to my crops, under my supervision, and I’m not planting raspberries or bothering with lost animals anymore. Ford didn’t speak to his own alleged struggles, but he told me ‘Phrases’ was more fun, and less addictive. I like Farmville, though, because demalgamation is so easy.”
Game Over For Farmville?
Sources close to the mayor say it hasn’t got in the way of his duties as Mayor, but gone are the days of small talk and luncheons. “Whenever he has a free moment, he’s buying expansions at the Market, buying more FV cash, or helping lost animals.”
Independent journalist Coleman Joey says, “He’s more visibly tired than usual. You can see it in his eyes. I don’t know if it’s the stress of the job, or if it’s Farmville. No one gets to the XPs (experience points) he has without putting in the time.”
Student intern, Moe Fletcher, says the allegations are overblown. “We all play FV as a team building resource. We sign in under his name, and if we reach a new level or expand the farm we celebrate. We had a wild, wild party when we reached level 70, “World Fair Champ.”
It remains to be seen whether or not his gaming issues spell game over for Bratina’s love affair with Farmville.