Why I hate Farmville, and where is social gaming taking us?

Hate is such a strong word. Let’s go instead with ‘dislike’, as Cuppy did in her post about Why do traditional gamers dislike Farmville?

My personal main reason for disliking it is that I actually have never been fond of farming games – I never liked farming berries in Pokemon, or farming anything in LOTRO, and I got bored of Harvest Moon fairly quickly too.

Other reasons are:

  • it’s on Facebook
  • a large part of their business plan is to do with selling advertising, so they design the game to give best value to the advertisers
  • and  their game design is rather cynical

Yup, Facebook is a turnoff for me. I’ve heard advocates of social gaming argue (convincingly) that casual gamers don’t want the hassle of logging into a special game client whenever they want to play. That’s what Facebook is like for me, it’s just not a website I’d tend to have open on a regular basis.

This means that I am not the target for Facebook games.

And since social games are so very very tightly wound in with Facebook’s insanely huge user base, this will make it sound as though I dislike all social games on principle. Which is not actually true, because I’ve rather liked the story based games like Echo Bazaar and even D&D Tiny Adventures.

But still, some Facebook games are terrifically cynical. All that prodding to invite a zillion people you barely know to receive a virtual pig, all the suspect ads, these are things that people put up with because they like the basic game. And just as MMOs evolved to lose more and more of the tedious shit that people put up with because they had no choice, social games will also evolve. I am quite sure that just as modern day MMO players complain about how they were ‘forced to group’ by older games, social gamers will one day complain about how the older games forced them to poke their ‘friends’ for stuff if they wanted to progress faster.

I just hope they do it sooner rather than later.

Advertising vs Subscription

Let’s talk about TV. In the UK we have several channels. We also have to pay an annual TV licence if we want to receive terrestrial channels at  home (it works out about £11 per month, just over a standard MMO sub), which is used to fund the BBC amongst other things.

So the BBC is funded by (mandated) subscription. Commercial channels are funded by advertising. Which one do you think produces the best quality programmes? And which produces the more popular programmes?

The BBC is generally higher quality, but the ratings war is far more evenly divided. Commercial channels are very motivated to produce content that will attract eyeballs for their advertisers, so they’re very smart at digging into pop culture. The cost of the pop culture fans getting the content they want is that they’re actually forced to subsidise the BBC which they may rarely use – but they get their fave programmes for free so they’ll never really notice. It’s an odd model, but arguably, no news network as good as the BBCs could have evolved without it.

So, enough about TV, how does this relate to gaming?

Well, you could imagine the ‘traditional’ gaming model where a company produces something that gamers want and then they pay for it, as being like the BBC. And then social games, with their emphasis towards gathering eyeballs for advertisers, being more like the commercial channels. All of these guys want your money, but the social games will settle for your eyeballs instead if that’s all they can get. And advertisers consider the spend worthwhile because they know that X% of people who watch ads buy product. Of course, social games don’t just monetize off advertising (in fact, I’m not even sure it’s the primary funder). But they know, like advertisers, that X% of players will also pay for virtual goods. So the more people they get to play, the more money they get. Even a nil paying customer might have friends who will pay.

The other bonus with current social games is that they have been exceptionally cheap to produce in comparison with traditional AAA games, a fact that is also true of commercial TV content which tends to lean heavily on quizzes, imported American TV,  and reality shows.

And just like commercial channels, social games have a huge future if they can tap into pop culture. And I look forwards to seeing them do exactly this.

Culture Clash, and Gamer Sexism

Another interesting thing that is happening with social gaming and Farmville in particular, is that a new mass market of gamers is working out how its market will work.

In the same way that WoW’s subscription effectively set the bar for how much MMO gamers expect to pay for their subscriptions, Farmville’s F2P model is setting the way social gamers expect to pay. And how much they expect to pay, which for 98% of them is approximately zero. (The figure I have seen before is that about 2% of the playerbase pay, although Zynga’s chief game designer quoted 3-5% in an interview last February – but he was also including people who sign up to any advertiser offer that generates cash for the developer.)

I also am amused by the notion that just as there are MMO gamers who demand that all their games be similar (it must be fantasy with elves, it must have a pet class, it must have an auction house, it must have etc etc etc), there are social gamers who won’t touch anything except a farming game with a suitable subset of activities.

In any case, I think F2P  leads to a different type of consumer/ developer relationship. To go back to TV, if you watch subscription TV and see something you don’t like, then you complain. If it’s commercial TV then you turn it off or switch channel. But then, although TV flirts occasionally with ways to become more addictive, it can’t really get its hooks into people in the way that a game can.

One other comment that Cuppy made in her article that caught my eye was:

It’s made for the office receptionist who logs in on her lunch break.  It’s made for moms, teens, non-gamers, grandmas, housewives, and those with little time on their hands.

So she thinks that the playerbase is mostly female, non-professional, and possibly non-economically productive. I’m not so sure, but then I don’t see the numbers.

In any case, if we criticise Farmville, are we being sexist? Is it like people bitching about Twilight or Titanic because they think it’s horrible that mass media aimed at women can be so successful? (ie. how can my wife/girlfriend/mum like that shit? She saw it X times!!!)

I say no. It depends entirely on what grounds you criticise it. Popular media has to be accessible, and whilst some people will complain because they just hate all pop culture and everything to do with it, there’s no reason why a popular book or film can’t be well written AND accessible. No reason why social games have to be grindy, cynical, unimaginitive advert-fests.

And also, ‘traditional’ gamers never did come out of their basements in droves to bitch about minesweeper or solitaire, even though these are probably still the most popular of all computer games, mostly with a female playerbase. They don’t complain about casual friendly games like Bejewelled, or puzzle games like Professor Layton, or even Pokemon. This is because they’re all actually good games.

To be honest, traditional gamers are also derisive of MMOs in general, never mind social games. And with some justification, because they aren’t really well designed as games. People play them for other reasons.

In any case, the proof of the pudding will be in how gamers respond to the new wave of social games. In particular, it will be interesting to see how people feel about Civilisation when that drops onto Facebook later this year. Will people be seduced by a game that does offer gameplay they like?

We’ll see. 60+ million people is not a number that can be easily ignored, and social gaming is transforming the face of the internet, never mind just the face of gaming. And I suspect many other traditional gamers are wondering for how long they’ll keep getting their high production, expensive games when game designers can see a cheaper path to higher profit and a bigger market.

35 thoughts on “Why I hate Farmville, and where is social gaming taking us?

  1. Last year my cousin asked me if I have a facebook account, too. Why? She needed some more peeps for Mafia or Farmville.

    This instantly turned me into a hater of the social games system. 😛

    These games are not social, they are extremely asocial ad-spam. They are not even something I would call games. I won’t look after your virtual pigs if you click mine…

    One of my major reasons to despise them all is that they are powered by our lower instincts and exploiting and even promoting psychological weaknesses like addiction, OCD (“must invite more people to look after my virtual pigs!”) and allow us to make an ass of ourselves. Not that MMOs and other games would be free of such silly game design elements, but for social games they seem to be the core idea.

    So yeah, let casual players rather play Windows Solitaire forever than that. Facebook, MySpace etc. are often also used as dating platforms by teenies and early twens. A place for the young girls to present their bosom to the public or providing all personal information from e-mail to mail address and links to all possible kinds of networks for more add spam, stalkers and inquisitive staff managers.

    I see a slew of Farmvilles coming – they are the future, just like everyone knows micro-transactions are the future of MMOs. My guts dare to predict everyone is possibly wrong and that the bubble will burst.

  2. Excellent!

    You made a very strong spink.

    The TV example is very well chosen, nothing to add their without repeating you, although it might only be conclusive for northern Europeans, since we grew up with said model.

    I absolutely agree with your concerns about social networks like facebook, besides I would like to add one aspect if you don’t mind:


    In most professions it is crucial to avoid stigma. Especially in those fields, with public attention or high number of applications. Human resources agents are trained to search for stigmas of enrolee or even employees.

    Playing online games or even worse browser games, makes most employers skeptical, and can easily combust your contract.

    Many people are not aware of the fact, that they leave footprints in the internet, that make other people draw conclusions. Whether these conclusions are justified or not, is in-discussable . The spink is, that you might not even know, that they do so.

    So the price for a free social game, might be higher than you expected.

    • Unless you play on a work PC it shouldn’t affect your career. And even at work most places that let people check personal email or surf in their lunch breaks are probably ok with Farmville type games.

      I’m not a fan of these but I think the notion that HR departments of normal employers will track you by IP and bar you is unnecessarily Orwellian.

      • I suspect strongly that most normal employers will have a rough check of how active you are online during work hours and may even discipline accordingly.

        One of the big risks to facebook gaming is if employers do start attempting to block it en masse (no idea if it might happen, but how many people really just play for a few minutes during their lunch break, really?).

      • I wish It would just be exaggeration but it is actually a fact. A whole market already exists, either searching for footprints or deleting those footprints.
        If you do not believe me, I can give you a number of links, from the conservative press, HR Journals, or Agencies. Or just google the Key-Word “Reputationmanager”.

        This problem is of course not limited to online gaming, it can be everything that the employer considers “problematic”.

        At the moment it is just a topic in countries with a high level of job protection, but those “trends” usually spread out very fast.
        Especially during economic crises.

        I am certainly not in a high position, just mid-field b2b, but I already went through that process twice.

  3. I find those facebook games very anti-social, personally. “invite all your friends and you get XXX stuff” eurgh, so you’re basically using your contacts for your own gain.

    But it’s there in a lot of games in a way, WoW for example you only invite people to a raid if they are skilled enough or they provide a certain buff….. and I hope blizzard can find a way in which that isn’t so crucial to a successful raid.

  4. You are severely misinformed, Spinks.

    A very small percentage of the revenue generated from Farmville comes from partner deals (i.e. sign up for Netflix and get 10kg). And these deals are not “spammed” in front of users. They are on the bottom of the currency purchase page, which lists traditional payment options first (CC, Paypal, SMS, etc.). The only other advertising in Farmville is from a banner at the top of the application which pitches Zynga’s other games and sidebar ads from Facebook itself.

    Facebook games are not about gameplay–not yet at least. They are about sharing and collecting. Yesterday my Wall lit up with people who were angry that Facebook Chat was not working with Farmville. They couldn’t talk to their friends while performing some low-intensity activity.

    Are there many of devious psychological tricks employed on Farmville and many other Facebook games? Sure there are. But any video game made since 2001 has used at least one of them. I do not like that Zynga exploits people with these devices, but these games are MORE than just a bag of tricks. They are contexts for social interactions–just like an MMORPG.

    And as a minor correction: Farmville has 82.5M monthly active users. A few days ago, it was 83M.

    • My bad. Never mind the advertising, but the goal is to get as many people involved with the game as possible. The more who play, the more will pay (even if it is a small minority.) Building a big network isn’t a bad thing – I just don’t like being exhorted to spam my friends list to advance in the game.

      I wonder if the people who were upset about facebook chat being down wanted to talk to the people who they were interacting with in the games, or just other friends who happened to be on facebook though?

      • RE: Chatting.
        That’s one of the differences between “social” Facebook games and traditional core gaming. The line between “game friends” and “irl friends” is being blurred. If your friends happen to be playing the game also, you can chat about the game.

        RE: Network growing.
        While many of these games still have “invite friends for awards”, Facebook made an application policy change a few months ago that states:

        You must not provide users with rewards or gate content from users based on their number of friends who use your application. (Developer Policies, 5.2).

        How these applications get around this rule, I have no idea.

      • It’s implicit now. You’re encouraged to send virtual gifts to everyone on your friends list. The game doesn’t need to do anything special to reward you for numbers, just the more people who return the gifts, the better you do.

        Well, that was my impression from checking one out for 5 minutes.

        And with the chatting, my first reaction was: why not use twitter. But of course that isn’t the point at all. Facebook users prefer to stay within facebook (understandable since they like it) and don’t want to be messing around with external apps. And I think this walled garden notion on facebook is part of the reason for my resistance because I don’t like it, and that’s also not how I use the internet. I do bitch when twitter is down though 🙂

      • I found out a few days ago that many people use Facebook Chat as their primary and only IM service. I have never sent a single message with the app, but apparently everyone else is using it all the time.

        And the gating/rewards in Farmville deal with land expansion. In order to purchase extra plots of land, you have either to pay real money or to accumulate “neighbors” (Facebook friends who also play) and pay with in-game currency.

        Games like Restaurant City use friend networks for second-handed benefits. You want your friends playing so they can send you more ingredients and work in your restaurant.

  5. I actually enjoy ‘playing’ Zynga’s games because it gives me a brief break during the day. I can log in, check my crops & animals, whack a few Mob bosses, etc, then log back out and get back to work. I’ve ‘played’ quite a few Facebook games, or rather I’ve tried then given up on many, because they’re often blatant rip-offs of Zynga’s games with a lot less of the polish, because if there’s one thing Zynga really know how to do it’s make excellent Facebook games. Or maybe the reverse is true and Zynga are actually the Facebook equivalent of Blizzard, taking good ideas and polishing them to a brilliant shine in order to make very popular games.

    Perhaps many hardcore gamers are critical of Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. because they see their own game being reflected back at them in its basest form.

    In Farmville & Mafia Wars you increase your social network in order to advance in the game. In WoW, you try to get in with a competent Guild so you can gain access to ‘end game’ content.

    In FV, and MW in particular, you’ll often need to grind lower level content to gather the resources to do/complete higher level content. In WoW, you’ll need to grind lower level content for the gear that gets you access to higher level content. And you’ll need to continue grinding Mobs, doing Dailies, etc, to pay for your Raid repair bills, Flask, enchants, etc.

    So Mafia Wars and WoW are pretty much the same game, just one of them has you push a few more buttons.

    • None of Zynga’s games are original. They are all rip-offs of other, mildly successful Facebook games.

      MafiaWars was copied from MobWars (and and IP lawsuit was settled out of court).
      Farmville comes from Farmtown.
      Cafe World is from Restaurant City.
      PetVille is Playfish’s Pet Society.

      The difference between Zynga and Blizzard is that Blizzard will actually polish the game and change features. Zynga will make a DIRECT copy of the game, and then just market the piss out of it with Facebook ads and their internal game ads.

      • Yes, Zynga do make direct copies of the interface and design of the games they “rip off”, however, I’ve found their own games are inherently more stable and thus more enjoyable to play.

        I’ve ‘played’ all the games you listed and they were often very slow to load, hung or timed out, and they often had bland pictures making ‘play’ a dull experience. Yes, Zynga might have ripped off “mildly successful Facebook games”, but they’ve spun them into wildly successful Facebook games. Now I would say you can’t sell shit with just a spit shine and heavy marketing but I think the “inventors” of the Pet Rock might be able to successfully argue otherwise.

        And anyway, isn’t spit shining all that many companies really do? Like Blizzard. They take concepts, ideas, and interfaces from existing games, give them the old Blizzard spit shine & polish, and voila! Rogue becomes Diablo, Dune becomes Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and Everquest becomes WoW.

        Think of them however you will, but Zynga ARE the Blizzard of Facebook.

    • I think part of the (or my) outrage against “facebook games” comes from the fact that I am not used to this kind of game. It is so alien to me that I only see it as a primitive kind of game. The notion that this might be the future is a bit frightening, though logic tries to tell me that this is completely different kind of game for a completely different audience.

  6. I am quite tempted to pick a popular facebook game, play it for a month and keep tabs of how it goes to see if I can get some insight into the appeal. (I apologise to all my friends in advance ;))

    But which one to pick?

    • Haha, with the amount of time you spend on any ONE MMORPG, you could probably play every single Facebook game mentioned in these comments and then some.

      Most of them stop you from playing after so many actions by depleting “stamina” or “energy”. You are looking at 5-10 minute sessions, maybe twice a day.

      I can’t really recommend any of them, because none of them have sterling gameplay. MafiaWars and Farmville are the most-copied games. You see their mechanics all over the place. Pet Society is just a housing system. Restaurant City has some resource management.

      A game I am betting that Zynga replicates in the next few months is called Treasure Madness. A few minigames loosely tied to a slot machine. It has a collectionist/completionist angle too.

    • Spinks, if you’re going to play, I would suggest you do what I’ve done and create a second account just for playing FB games.

      The reason being if you use Facebook for its actual intended purpose, that is to stay in touch with real friends and family, you’re going to find your wall filled with Adopt my lost sheep!, Clean my Fish Tank!, Whack this Mob Boss!

      With all that spam you might miss things that family have posted, like I did when I missed the brother-in-law saying he crashed his car. I only noticed a week later when he said he had missed out on a scuba trip because his foot was still too sore (he’d broken a couple of bones in the accident, not realized, then walked around on it for 2 days :P)
      “What did you do to your foot?”
      “Broke it when I crashed the car.”
      “You crashed your car???”

      In my defense I live 8,000 miles away, in another country, so it’s not like we’re in constant communication with each other.

      After creating the second ‘games-only’ account I tried to get rid of the games on my real account except my wife got sucked into playing as well, created a second account for herself, then ended up playing not only on both her accounts but continued playing on my first “real” account as well.

      That’s an example of how bad the ‘suck-factor’ of these games can be, when someone can play the same game on multiple accounts. I’ve even seen other people do this, with one guy in particular having over 6 different accounts. I knew they were all him because he had the same picture on each account, and each account name was exactly the same, just JohnDoe1, JohnDoe2, etc.

    • You know that you have the option to NOT publish stories to your feed?

      All you have to do is click SKIP. No need for multiple accounts.

      And if you are tired of getting feed stories from other people, you can Block the Application.

  7. But do be careful with Farmville, as the temptation to get ahead is happily exploited by scammers, as TechCrunch explains: (http://snurl.com/uxki1)

    “A typical scam: users are offered in game currency in exchange for filling out an IQ survey… When the user gets to the last question they are told their results will be text messaged to them. They are asked to enter in their mobile phone number, and are texted a pin code to enter on the quiz. Once they’ve done that, they’ve just subscribed to a $9.99/month subscription. …nothing in the offer says that the user will be billed $10/month forever for a useless service.”

  8. I don’t like Facebook games simply because they have turned Facebook into a gaming site. When I first heard about FB I thought it sounded like a neat idea, being able to stay in touch with friends you didn’t see that often and all that. With the FB gaming craze however people want to be friends just so they can get some benefit in a game and “legitimate” updates about people’s lives get buried under game spam. Supposedly there’s some way to filter that stuff out, but I have yet to find it. I never would have bothered to join Facebook if I had known that it would turn into just another flash gaming site.

    • Shintar, mouse over any of the posts/feeds asking you to “Adopt my Sheep!”, “Whack this Mafia Boss!”, “Join my crew!”

      If it’s a FB Game-generated post/feed then a ‘Hide’ button will appear in the top right corner of that post. Not the screen, just for that Post. Click the ‘Hide’ button and you will usually be presented with three options.

      1) Hide JohnDoe
      Not a good choice if JohnDoe is your brother/sister/mother/uncle/cousin-twice-removed.

      2) Hide Facebook/Mafia Wars/Petville, etc.
      This is the one you want. This will not just hide your cousin JohnDoe’s request for you to join his Mafia/whack a Boss/Feed his Pet, etc, but it will (should) hide ALL Mafia Wars-generated posts/feeds.

      3) Cancel
      Kind of self-explanatory.

      Now repeat the above steps for all of the other PetVille, YoVille, Cafe World, etc, feeds that appear on your wall. The annoying thing is there are so many damn Facebook apps that they pop up almost as fast as you can ‘Hide’ them, but once you’ve got the most popular ones hidden your Wall should be a lot cleaner, and stay a lot cleaner.

      Good luck!

  9. I’ve been beating this drum for the past week or so, and i think i finally figured out the best way to explain the whole facebook games issue.

    i’m going to post this comment on various forums and blogs i’ve been following where this topic has come up. so don’t be suprised if you see this exact comment somewhere else on the web… this is a fairly long post so bear with me.

    the key issue that a lot of pro-facebook individuals are overlooking is the fact that facebook games are INFERIOR goods, therefor the common thinking that an increase in quality leads to an increased demand is simply not true. inferior goods behave the exact opposite.

    In consumer theory, an inferior good is “a good that decreases in demand when consumer income rises, unlike normal goods, for which the opposite is observed. Normal goods are those for which consumers’ demand increases when their income increases.”

    lets use an inferior good that most people can relate to, Ramen Noodles. i love Ramen Noodles, as a college student i can’t tell you how awesome Ramen Noodles are… but, as soon as i start making enough money to afford something better, i’ll gladly never taste another Ramen Noodle again.

    Like Ramen Noodles, facebook games are only going to be consumed when we can’t afford anything better (in this case the cost is time and energy). so we’re only going to play facebook games when we don’t have enough time or energy to do something better… as soon as we have more time and energy available to us, we will stop playing facebook games and move on to other “better” games. (just like how we only purchase Ramen when we can’t afford something better, and as soon as we can afford something better, we stop buying Ramen.)

    it’s the same as if you went to a store and there was the regular old Ramen, and sitting next to it on the shelf was a New and Improved Ramen… regular Ramen is 15 cents a package, while the New Ramen is 25 cents a package… which one are you going to buy?

    well the fact that you’re in the market for Ramen means that the most important thing to you is COST (lowest time and energy investment).. so you’re going to buy the cheapest product, quality doesn’t matter to you. (otherwise you would have headed for the steaks instead of the ramen)

    quality games require a time and energy investment not found in facebook games… and it’s this lack of investment that makes facebook games appealing… as soon as you cross that threshold into a “good” game, then the cost (time and energy) required to participate in the “good” game becomes too high, and the demand for that game will drop off… because once a game becomes “good” then it is a NORMAL good, and facebook users cannot afford normal goods… they don’t have enough time or energy.

    facebook games are inferior goods… “good” games are normal goods. facebook users WANT inferior goods because it suits their playstyle and it’s all they can afford… normal goods will not perform as well because facebook users simply cannot afford them… it’s like trying to sell a steak to a poor person who only makes $1 a week, he can either buy an extremely tiny steak that would last him less than a day, and he’d go hungry the other 6… or he can buy a week’s supply of ramen… which would you choose?

    i’m not saying you won’t see good games on facebook, but good games won’t benefit anything by being on facebook.

    besides, would you really rather log into facebook to play civilization? and deal with all the extra crap that facebook brings? or would you rather play the game like normal, but have an app that connects the game and facebook?

    personally i’d rather have the regular game, and then an app that automatically searches my facebook for friends that also have the game, and then adds them to my in-game friends list. then i can easily interact with my friends in-game, but i don’t have to deal with all the ads, spam, random messages, that i’d have to put up with if the whole game was played through facebook. also an app could be like the PSN app that shows what you download from PSN in your facebook feed.. so in this way you could easily share your accomplishments in-game with your facebook friends, without all the intrusive facebook stuff… i see more benefits in keeping the game and facebook at arm’s length, than you could get by tightly integrating them.

    do you really want your civilization gaming to be interrupted by random friends telling you about the awesome party they went to last night? do you really want pop ups notifying you of all the farmville gifts you just got intruding on your gameplay? do you really want ads in the sidebar distracting you from your gaming? or even worse, ads IN the game itself?

    all of the above things are what make facebook games successful. these things are fine when you’re playing something with little to no gameplay, like Farmville, but when the gameplay becomes more engaging and more interesting, and requires more of your attention, like Civilization, are you really going to put up with all this extra crap distracting you from the “good” gameplay.

    basically what i’m trying to say is that facebook is a platform for inferior goods, not normal goods… so the thinking that higher quality leads to higher demand, which is generally true for normal goods.. is not true for inferior goods and therefor facebook.

    i hope this makes sense, it’s the best explanation i could come up with.

    – Logan

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  11. I like Facebook. I like MMOs. I don’t like social gaming, however. Interestingly enough, however, the most enjoyable part of MMOs to me is socializing with various people and keeping up with my friends.

    So where do I draw the line?

    I still like a challenge in a game. I like narrative. I like there being some reward that isn’t “a cute, xenophobic turtle has wandered from Beej’s Farm to Spinks'”.

    There’s who tutors at the resource center I direct, and when he’s not with a student, he has Cafeworld up on Facebook. He occasionally clicks something, but often he is reading a book or checking a website, maybe working on homework assignments. He says he loves games like that because they don’t take any attention to play.

    As a lifelong gamer, I think that idea is absurd. I /want/ games in which I can actually interact. I actively seek games that tax me mentally. Which is why I think the social games should never be accused of being casual games. PopCap makes fantastic casual games, and I love them. I can spend hours on Bejeweled or Plants vs. Zombies because I am both interacting and thinking almost every moment I play.

    Did you ever get an opportunity to play with Palace Chat about 10-12 years ago? Farmville on Facebook is just the next generation of the graphical chatroom that Palace started. Farmville and similar games are for people who want to sit around in a chatroom, but still think that online communication has a stigma attached to it like it did a decade ago.

    Farmville is the Jitterbug (the cellphone) of gaming: perfectly functional for those without a greater capability or desire, but lacking for anyone who is familiar with the technology at anything past the most fundamental levels.

  12. I remember back in the day where the phrase, “social gaming” never existed. We called them MMOs. Like World of Warcraft, of counter strike as not only examples, but games that are fun as oppose to whatever games online that is slapped with the “social” sticker.

  13. I don’t play Farmville but I’ve seen friends health go down the tubes since they started to play.One used to walk and exercise,another rode horses and another played tennis.Now these once healthy friends eat junk food while playing Farmville for hours.I visited a friend since we were supposed to go out riding,she told me she didn’t ride anymore because it gets in the way of Farmville.She was actually angry at me for disturbing her time on the game.

    This game can ruin friendships.I’ve seen perfectly normal people turn into these obsessed angry short tempered maniacs.The game has changed their personalities.Each of them has anger much more readily,can’t focus on other matters in their lives and have a sort of depression.

    Also people have sent me invites to play,so when I don’t play they become angry.More to life than Farmville!

    • 1. Read what I said to Sue.
      2. Read the things I said to your other comment. So… Apparently it’s that your friend is transitioning. Sorry, but we can change our hobbies and interests whenever we like, and if you don’t have more in common with a friend than something like riding horses… And, they change away from that… Then that “friendship” is over. There is a difference between actually being friends… And, just sharing one or two passtimes. Maybe, just maybe, they were never as into sports as you think.
      3. The junk food is the health ruining part, not the lack of… Horse back riding and tennis? Really? Those aren’t even that active of activities. Nor are they fun. One is highly aggressive, so was a sign this person is aggressive… The other, it’s the beast exercising, not you, being a sign they don’t actually like exercise. And, both of these are rich activities. Maybe they don’t want to pretend to be rich anymore, or if they are rich, maybe they don’t want to flaunt it like that. (Horses aren’t just rich society… It’s actually expensive to have such a hobby, as well as highly demanding.)
      4. What makes you think the game caused that “personality” change? Anger is not a personality trait, it is an emotion, a perfectly healthy emotion. We get angry when people do something we don’t like. If you are making people angry, you are doing something wrong. Stop assuming it’s everyone else with the problem and face the music. If you percieve someone being sad or mad as them “getting a brain transplant,” you do not love them and are mad that they are real people with real problems and lives, which do not evolve around you. They are human beings, not fashion accessories. Deal with it. Respect their feelings. All-in-all… You sound like you’re raking in some nasty karma, and being one such who pretends to be the nice person all the while… So, times all the bad karma by three, because pretending to be the nice one when not is both a lie, and hurting whoever is innocent but you claim is at fault. frankly, I’m pretty sure you’re either literally a psychopath, or you are not but are opperating like one and need to learn more about how to be a good friend. If the latter…

      Rule #1.
      “It takes two to tango.”
      “The world does not evolve around you.”
      “There are two sides of the coin.”
      “A relationship is not one-sided.”
      “Everything is not about you!”

      Rule #2.
      “It takes two to tango.”
      “There are two sides of the coin.”
      The world does not work in such a way that it is always you who is right and good, and always the other person who is wrong and bad.
      “You poop! And, it smells terrible!”
      –Between the activities you cited and this attitude… I can’t help but notice you’re some rich, spoiled brat who never learned how the real world works. And, you relish in it. I would advise trying more hobbies than cliche rich ones and trying to meet people who will have something important in common, instead of assuming other rich people want to be friends with you just because you’re both rich, which is an absurd expectation.

      If you’re not rich… My guess is you’re a gold digger looking for sugar daddy friends to support your delussions of grandeur. If so, it would definitely tick you off for them to change interests to things not specifically rich, because then they’re not introducing you to high society or helping you seem high society yourself. There is no way you don’t know that horseback riding and tennis are “richie” things.

  14. I dispise Farmville.Hate isn’t strong enough a word.I have had health problems so I know what a waste of time Farmvile is.People sit for hours to play this game and grow tired and out of shape not meaning fat but just not well.Someone should go on a long walk or read a book.Farmville is a waste of precious life!

    • It is not lack of exercise that makes people ill, it’s poor diet. Lack of exercise could at most cause the fatigue you mentioned, but not the rest. Do not buy into what people selling gym memberships and exercise equipment are telling you. Most of it is lies to sell their product. For example, we lose weight solely by consuming less calories than we burn, not by exercising. The only way to lose weight is to slightly go hungry till you meet your goal, while they tell you to keep your diet the same and just start working out… While it’s true you will burn more calories and MIGHT (not will, just might) lose the weight (it will actually just increase your weight if you aren’t burning more calories than you consume, and muscle weighs more than fat), once you’ve lost it you’ll go back to the activity level you prefer… With the same diet that made you want to lose weight… Causing a yo-yo affect, which is unhealthy. People needing to improve their health need to be looking at diet, not exercise. It’s the diet that made you sick. Humans did not evolve to intentionally work out, that’s total nonsense. We are evolved to live (and to aquire the muscle we need in doing so – your lifestyle already gives you the muscle you need for it), but we did evolve to require specific diets, and if yours isn’t right, you will get sick. That you don’t know this means you are still sick, and will go on being so until you admit that the problem is YOU, not facebook. Stop blaming inanimate objects like your computer, and take responsibility.
      Further, what you’re saying is equally applicable to almost all video games, while this topic is supposed to be gamers who don’t like facebook games, not non-gamers who don’t like games at all. You were not the intended audience, and are insulting the intended audience.

  15. I’ve lost a friend to Farmville.I’ve known her for 13 years and we used to email in regular mail and communicate.Ever since I’ve been on FB with her as a friend she’s been deleting any messages I write on her wall even after I haven’t written her for awhile there and she continues to play this stupid game.I write to her in regular mail asking nice things like how her family is and she never writes back.It’s made me start to think that she values a waste of time game more than my friendship or any friendship for that matter since I heard from some of her other friends and they are frustrated because she ignores them also.How can anyone waste their life playing a game that offers no intellectual stimulation,heck no prize at the end or a game that never endds period.I never tell her it bothers me because I don’t believe my saying so will help the matter.The game destroys friendships and turns people into vegetables as far as I’m concerned.

    • 1. Did you bother to get in contact off facebook to see if they are actually on that account? It sounds like their account may have been stolen.
      2. Are you entirely sure this person was your friend and not just an aquaintance or worse who pretended to be your friend?
      2b. Thirteen years is a long time… And, quite a few long-time friendships are not real friendships, but people who came together because they had to (f.e. someone to hang with at school or work), and remained in good terms because they were used to it and afraid of venturing out to meet new people. If this is the case, they might be transitioning, preparing to let go of such “friendships” to go out and meet people they actually like.
      2c. If this person is really behind that account… I advise learning about psychopathy. They might be one of the millions of people on the planet who can’t actually feel things like love, so makes a lot of social blunders. Perhaps they have decided to just lower their social altogether, to stop blundering. If this is the case, it’s better for you and society that they waste time on Farmville than they waste time pretending to have feelings they don’t have.
      2d. Maybe it’s not them with psychopathy, maybe it’s other people they know, causing them to want to say “F it” to the lot of you and retreat. (Trust me, I had this problem. Because I come from an abusive family, my “friends” I made in jr. high and high school were psychopaths and treated me like dung. In our senior year, I started to gradually, painfully break away, a process that took over five years. And, it is done in awkward ways, because you’re the one with feelings for the other people… So, you want them there and might let them be on your friends list… But, you really need them gone, so you might ignore them or be very distant with them, because you know they’re only hurting you.)
      3. It’s possible your friend is addicted and needs help…
      Frankly, that you abandoned this person, apparently without trying to figure out what was wrong or resolve it… My guess is 2b or 2d. We do not easily leave people we love, and friends are people we love. My guess is you were never a good friend and just have small talk niceties like “how’s your family?” mastered… Which is very easy to master, because you don’t actually have to listen to the answer, or could even use it to gather information for harmful or nuetral uses. That you try to talk to them like that does not come close to proving you care. Frankly, I was weary of you from the point you said you try to talk to them on their wall without consent. That to me says you’re a little self-obsessed and want all eyes on you.

  16. Farmville is so repetitive as to maybe cause ADHD.It’s only a guess but we have to realize how Farmville keeps the game player in a state of stress,since there is a time limit to crop growth.This in turn can cause nervous disorders,impatience eventually and obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Farmville can also contribute to mental degeneration as there is absolutely no real useful brain stimulation,such as if we had a good chess game on FB which would be fun and useful for stimulation.

    I see no use for this game other than for the promoters/company.

    To those who play Farmville I hope you realize how much time of your life you have wasted on cyber cattle and crops.

  17. MMOs are being lumped in with things like Farmville just because MMOs are actually social (while the app. games are not)? No frykyn wonder they are replacing good MMOs with crappy ones that kill the actual social part of the game!
    For an example, look to the killing of SWG, one of the greated MMOs ever made, and representing what is supposed to be the now MMO generation, to up sells of TOR, which is even worse than WoW. TOR is dumbed down to the gradeschool level, cuts out the social aspects of the game… They even give you artificial friends to help you so you don’t have to make real friends. That crap now makes sense. It’s because they aren’t just mimicking WoW, they’re also mimicking the facebook app. games, which do not deliver any actual socializing, they just tease you with things like pretending your neighbors.

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