Sunday, August 30, 2009

Farmville

I recently got peer-pressured into joining Facebook. In some ways, it's like being in a big room, where everyone is shouting out what their thinking, and occasionally you respond and might even have a short conversation. But mostly it's people blurting out what ever is on their mind, hoping to get something going, or just staying in touch. It's interesting to suddenly be in touch with so many friends and acquaintances, and know what everyone is up to, even if you haven't talked to them lately. Like our friend Gary in Yakima, who we usually just catch up with at Christmastime, now I know what he's up to every day, and vice-versa.



Then my farmer/4H friends got on Facebook, and suddenly everyone was playing Farmtown or Farmville. I finally gave in on that too. I signed up for Farmville, and actually, it's kind of cute. That's a picture of my little farm. I wish my real-life farm was so easy! However I've never had coins pop up out of the ground while plowing in real life. And when I give my friends a real gift, I have to pay for it. Also, although I don't have a fence up, my livestock have not raided the gardens or peeled all the bark off the trees - they'll do that in real life, you know!

It's fun to see what different people's farms look like, one of my friends has nothing but animals on his farm, and he has them packed in like sardines, so there is a whole battalion of chickens, in perfect rows, pecking the ground in unison, with one confused duck in the middle of it all :) Very cute! Meanwhile, in real life, I spent this morning trying to figure out how one of my young hens kept escaping the coop before she got chased by the dogs!

Of course, nothing is free. There are ads down the side of the pages, and you are encouraged to join your other friends up in order to expand your farm. Also you can buy credits for your farm with real $$, or you can click on ads and sign up for stuff and get paid farm dollars. That's one thing if you wanted to do Netflix anyway, but tying it into a game like that kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But you don't have to do any of those things, you can just play and ignore all that other stuff.

Still, it's interesting to see how this company has set up a game which you must return to every day, or several times a day depending on what you plant, else your crops will wither, and so they guarantee return visits for their advertisers, and offer you credits to get you to visit advertisers, plus they'll just outright take your cash in return for credits if you want. Multiple revenue streams, and guaranteed return visits, and in return the users get to play a cute, addictive little game. It's quite a setup they have going.

BTW, I should mention that since I use Firefox with AdBlocker, I didn't even realize there was advertising on Facebook until Dave pointed it out on his computer (which uses IE). AdBlocker is sweet!

1 comment:

Lois Grebowski said...

I haven't fallen victim to the Farmville/yoville, etc games. About as gamey I get is scrabble and a few other word games.