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FarmVille Wizard

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MRS. WALKER: I'm worried about Tommy.

FRANK: What's wrong with him?

MRS. WALKER: He's been so withdrawn lately. He just sits in his room playing with his computer all day. He seems to be lost in his own quiet vibration land.

FRANK: I'll go have a word with him.

Frank goes to Tommy's bedroom. Tommy is serenely typing and clicking away at his computer.

FRANK: Tommy, I'd like to have a word with you.

TOMMY:

FRANK: Tommy?

TOMMY:

Frank unplugs Tommy's computer; Tommy has a seizure. Frank plugs Tommy's computer back in. Tommy resumes serenely typing and clicking. Frank returns downstairs.

FRANK: It's worse than I thought.

MRS. WALKER: We better call a doctor. Sickness can take the mind where minds can't usually go.

***

DOCTOR: There's nothing I can do for him. I've tried everything -- psychotropic drugs, electrical shocks, physical and sexual abuse. He hears but cannot answer to your call.

MRS. WALKER: We thought he'd outgrow it. You know how moody teenagers are.

DOCTOR: We see a lot of cases like this these days. We call it social network autism, or AppUser's syndrome -- kids who can only relate to their friends in virtual space. Has he been this way long?

MRS. WALKER: Ever since he came home early from school one day and caught me "swapping files" with Frank on top of the credenza. We met on Craigslist.

DOCTOR: And where is Tommy's father?

FRANK: Captain Walker? Stuck in Afghanistan. Who knows when he'll be back again?

DOCTOR: Did you know Tommy has millions of followers on Twitter?

FRANK: Millions? That's ridiculous! He's a vegetable! What does a carrot have to tweet about?

DOCTOR: He just keeps typing the same phrase over and over again: "see me, feel me, touch me, heal me."

MRS. WALKER: What does it mean?

DOCTOR: I have no idea, but it's being re-tweeted all over the Internet. It's the number one trending topic on Google for the past six months. Apparently he speaks to this generation -- even more than Justin Bieber.

MRS. WALKER: I had no idea. I thought he was just looking at porn and sexting, like all his peers.

DOCTOR. Wait, there's more. Do you know what FarmVille is?

FRANK. It's a TV sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Zsa Zsa Gabor, right? I think I've seen it on Nick At Nite.

DOCTOR: It's a social network game. They're all the rage on Facebook. Tommy has a million acres under cultivation and started a global food bank. They call him the FarmVille Wizard. Lil Wayne's even recorded a tribute rap about him from prison: "He's a FarmVille wizard/there's got to be a twist/he's a FarmVille wizard/it's time to slop the pigs." Apparently "slop the pigs" has a double meaning on the streets.

FRANK: So how do we exploit him?

MRS. WALKER: Frank!

FRANK: Hey, all that special ed's expensive. The money's got to come from somewhere. So how do we wring some cash out of the little freak, er, help him achieve his full potential?

DOCTOR: Well, FarmVille is already taken, but there's no reason why you couldn't develop your own social network app and institute a system of micro payments...

***

FRANK: Welcome to Tommy's PlantationVille: Civil Wars! It has all the locally grown, sustainable greenness of FarmVille, plus the sex and violence of Mafia Wars! And it's got a great soundtrack by one of them classic rock groups -- the Whatever or something like that. Okay, Tommy, do your thing.

TOMMY:

DOCTOR: Uh oh, the NAACP just condemned the game as insensitive via their Twitter feed.

FRANK: Geeze, who saw that coming? Next thing you'll know, they'll call the Tea Party racist. (By the way, Nora, could you iron my shirt? We have a rally next week.)

MRS. WALKER: His friends are un-friending him! His followers are deserting him! They're all switching over to Justin Bieber!

DOCTOR: The plantation's been burned down! The slaves are revolting -- they're doing the most disgusting things to the farm animals and to each other!

FRANK: The hell with this! Lets go to an Internet pub and do some drunk emailing!

MRS. WALKER: Maybe we can play Chatroulette later.

Frank and Mrs. Walker leave.

DOCTOR: What a fascinating case! I must blog about it for the online medical journals.

The Doctor leaves, leaving Tommy alone.

TOMMY (typing): See me, feel me, touch me, heal me...