Stardew Valley is the Millennial Life Dream
Originally released in 2016 by the one-man team Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, Stardew Valley has exploded in popularity for its relaxing farming RPG-simulation. With charming graphics and mechanics, the game can dive deep into lore and secrets that help players keep coming back for more.
Aside from the addicting game play that makes players want to keep improving their farm and relationships, of course.
Indeed, the game and creator are so popular that there was recently a hint of ConcernedApe working on new games followed quickly by articles regarding the man asking fans to calm down in their excitement. Take a look at these contrasting headlines of articles written about two to three days apart:
ConcernedApe Has Two Stardew Valley-Related Projects in Development
ConcernedApe, the solo developer behind the monstrously popular farming simulator Stardew Valley, has two new games in…
Stardew Valley creator would like everyone to please calm down
Earlier this week, Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone said on Twitter that he's working on two new…
Why is Stardew Valley so popular? Why do so many, particularly of the millennial age bracket of twenties to mid-thirties, enjoy immersing themselves in the game? Granted, there are players of all ages enjoying this game, but it holds a rather special place in the hearts of us millennials. It allows us to live the life we’ve always dreamed of.
Owning a home.
At the start of Stardew Valley, the player character inherits a dilapidated farm, including a house. The house is tiny, a one-room place that holds little but a bed and a television that only plays two to three channels a day, but darn it all, it’s ours.
As our hard work improves our farm and we make a profit, so too can we choose to improve our house with upgrades and furnishings.
Open LGBT+ relationships.
While LGBT+ folks have always been around, it’s the more recent generations that have been much open about not being completely straight. Stardew Valley allows players to increase their friendship and relationship points with a plethora of NPC villagers, along with twelve bachelors and bacheloretts that one can eventually marry.
In Stardew Valley, the player’s gender and the marriage candidates’ genders do not matter. One can woo whichever candidate they want, allowing the different sexualities to better reflect the real world. In Stardew Valley, however, there is no harassment — it’s seen as something normal, like it should be.
Enjoy your work.
The millennial generation has fallen for the “hustle culture” in response to facing a mountain of student debt in the wake of a recession after being told that good grades and college would help us find our dream jobs. Instead, it’s normal to “job-hop,” moving on from job to job in order to find both fulfillment and paychecks worthy of our work.
Gone are the days where people would work the same job for 40 years. Instead, it’s a competitive market, where people will move on if they feel they are underappreciated or can no longer afford to stay where they are. Retirement packages are no longer incentives, especially considering most benefits do not translate well into today’s economy and inflation.
Stardew Valley allows players to reap what they sow, if you pardon the farm pun. Designing your farm, growing what you want, and reaching your goals is what Stardew Valley is all about.