Andy's Workshop

Game chat and stories along with some articles probably for the more geeky among us,
all written by me, Andy.

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Tuesday 19 April 2011

The Five Stages Of Canning Grief

[This blog has been based on the Kubler-Ross Model of the 5 stages of grief]

Be honest, we're all feeling it right now. Canning. THAT mission.

To misquote Winston Churchill... Never have so many complained so much to so few... Emotions are running high, feelings are broken, all manner of psychological effects are coming to the fore. So I've decided to don my scrubs, affect a limp and present another in my series of Dr Andy M.D. posts to help YOU, thorough this troubling time.

Mission grief is a tricky and often painful time for everyone involved, but it's long been held that the process can be defined by 5 stages, so take a look below and see just where you are in the process of Canning grief.

1) Denial - "It's an April Fool Joke". "Haha, they'll never do these."

Denial is a temporary defence and the shortest held stage. To be honest we're putting this in here for completeness as no-one can still be feeling denial in any stage. The Canning is happening, whether you like it or not, it's a certainty that even if you don't have it yet, you will.

Eventually, everyone will Can. It's just a fact of life.

2) Anger - "How dare Zynga do this!", "This isn't fair!"

Anger is a dangerous stage, the person who's Canning will lash out at people involved and attempt to find someone to blame. Their reasoning is often distorted at this point and can be tricky to deal with. Because anger has become the dominant feeling anyone who shows an alternate view ("I'm enjoying the canning missions" or even "I've completed the canning missions") can be subjected to resentment and jealousy.

The anger stage has no place for positivity of any kind.

3) Bargaining  - "Just take half the food?" "Can we buy food with coins?"

The bargaining stage begins when the player realises that the Canning does exist and no amount of blame will change it. The player then decides to bargain in the hope that canning will disappear, that they can ask nicely enough and have the mission removed or push for changes to the mission.

They understand that Canning is going to happen, but are desperate to lessen the impact. Players may even be driven to such futile activities as online petitions or Facebook groups.

4) Depression - "I'm just going to quit!" "I can't be bothered playing the game any more."

Once any hope of bargaining has failed Depression sets in and often leads the player to illogical statements such as wanting to leave the game entirely. They retreat into a shell and refuse to see the good of the game and those around them as the experience has been tainted by the Canning.

It's inadvisable to use either extreme here when dealing with a depressed player, "It's going to be fine" and other positive statements will be ignored and can create the same resentment and jealousy as Anger. It's also highly recommended to avoid telling someone to go ahead and quit. Although the shock of going through with the action might jolt them from depression (the vast majority do not plan to go through with it) in some few cases it might cause more problems than it solves.

5) Acceptance - "OK, let's just get on with it.", "You know what, if I have to do it, I will!"

The final stage, Acceptance, is the hardest to reach for some but the best for their mental wellbeing. When reaching acceptance the player realises that the Canning Missions exist, they realise they're not actually that important and they either decide to ignore them and not do them, or decide to roll up their sleeves and do their best.

Eventually most players will reach acceptance, especially if kept apart from other players going through earlier stages. A player in stages 3 or 4 can easily be pulled back to stage 2 and lose all progress if coming into contact with other stage 2 players.

Obviously for the health of our members we at Express Hospital hope for a stage 5 conclusion for every player. Remember you can always get the help you need in our Support Group where fully trained admins and the experiences of other players will assist you through these troubling times.


  1. Andy, you are so funny, I am at stage 5 knowing that it might take a few more weeks but it will happen.

  2. HA HA really I wanna laugh just not feeling it this AM... :(

  3. Should we look at the canning mission as job security? I don't think I shall finish it in my lifetime. After all, I am 65 years old. How much time to I have to get a gazillion food?

  4. Is it okay if I still cry hysterically every time I sell a slew of animals and STILL don't have enough food yet?

    70,000 food and counting.......

  5. God help us all......

  6. To further misquote Old Winnie.. Never, in the course of this game, have so many wanted to strangle so few.

    One might even go so far as to say that Canning is our darkest hour.

    As always, Andy, thanks for the laugh!

  7. The people that wanted harder jobs great but we players that do have real jobs and limited time to play are the ones suffering.We don't sit and play all day get out and get a real job and then see if you can finish it so soon LOL