The funniest thing happened on the way to researching the other day on the computer. Two different friends of mine who are also on Facebook were listed playing Hidden Chronicles, a specific computer Facebook/Zynga game. These two women don’t know each other or have much in common. They both are exuberant, live in Boulder County and have children, but a decade apart. Other than that, they are very different, so I really had to find out what game interested them both enough to play. So I checked out Hidden Chronicles.
Well it’s addictive and fun and anyone who wants to play it from Facebook is welcome to be my neighbor.
It’s like genealogy, you keep poking around in corners til you find the good stuff. There is a lot of noise real and mental in all of our lives, so when I work on the computer, I have the mute button on, same with my phone, the stove timer, the dryer and washer buzzers. I keep all those buzzers off. Sometimes I crank some music up, but usually I keep the noise out. So I am playing this game without the commentary, which is probably not the wisest or most efficient way to learn this or any other game.
That’s how I started my genealogical research, by myself, without help from anyone, on my own. An example of one of my more glaring personal paths, my first graph/chart started with me on the far right in the middle of the page and then my parents roughly in the middle of the middle, then their parents (my grandparents) and finally in a column on the far left my eight great grandparents. Anyone who has seen or used commerically prepared charts knows that they are exactly opposite what I did.
Well I played Hidden Chronicles for a couple days, the graphics are wonderful, it’s an I Spy style game, within the internet’s amazingly large gaming community, it is called an HOG or Hidden Object Game. I kept trying to build my estate; I bought structures and tried to place them around the acreage, but they wouldn’t stick. It turns out you can’t place structures on parts of the estate that haven’t been explored. In order to do that you have to gain some clues which you can do by playing a million games of I Spy, which I was doing, or you can share your own rewards with others and they can share back. Well, I wanted to play by myself and of course I did not want anyone to know how much time I was literally throwing out the window playing this game, so I didn’t share and or activate neighbors or anything. I just played.
So like genealogy, I like to find things myself, not rely on someone else’s work. It’s not as fun for me to piggyback on someone else’s work. However, I do use clues gleaned from other’s work to find my own answers, sometimes the exact same conclusions reached by friends, cousins and other researchers. At the same time, while playing the game, something was wrong with the way my clues were being posted and I certainly could not figure it out. I checked with one of my friends who played, she offered an idea, a partial explanation but didn’t know. It wasn’t happening to her. So I got online and looked through pages and pages of online commentary about the games and Hidden Chronicles in particular. Finally I came to a spot that explained a glitch about the posting of clues for some gamers and how to let Zynga know it was happening. In the midst there was an article about how to work the combos in the “I Spy” like part to increase your score. It was the same light bulb that went on the first time you were in a microfilm reading room and saw someone put a yellow piece of paper on the reader to increase contrast and ability to read the microfilm. I still use the same theory on GIMP to increase contrast by adding a highlight.
I am in the midst of finishing the Breitenstein family history I have put together, I need two photographs and one last edit. So very close! Instead, I am playing this game and loving it. I know it’s a bigger time waster than any other path including TV I have explored in years. It’s fun, purely recreational and sometimes that’s a good thing. Yes I will get back to the History of Jacob and Margaret (Gerber) Breitenstein of Louisville right after I reach level 20.
1940 Federal Census is Being Indexed While I Play Computer Games
While I have frittered away many minutes playing Hidden Chronicles, the indexing goes on for the 1940 census.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
On deck with FamilySearch; Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming should go from 100% indexed to Searchable next. Louisiana and Oklahoma are 99% done. I still wish that Ancestry would post a “coming soon” list, so researchers could decide, page through two enumeration districts or wait a week. It is nice that the states aren’t duplicated (except for Delaware).