FarmVille Madness – The Curse of Facebook Games
Lately my Facebook news feed seems to be choked with status updates. Most of the time I use these updates to keep up with my friends and what’s going on in their lives. But that has become increasingly difficult because of a plague that is ravaging the social media community. Yes, I’m talking about Facebook games. First it was just the occasional Mafia Wars update that I would casually ignore, but now I’m inundated with updates from Restaurant City, Know-It-All Trivia, Zynga Poker, Bejeweled Blitz, YoVille, Fish World and the worst culprit of them all FarmVille.
FarmVille is the gateway drug of the Facebook gaming world. I’ve seen many friends, good people, slide down that slippery slope. It always starts innocently enough. They are online, chatting with a buddy or uploading photos. Then it happens. They receive a status update from a trusted friend, maybe someone they’ve known all their life.
Kristy just completed level 2 of Pumpkin mastery in FarmVille. Kristy earned a huge reward for being such a dedicated farmer and wants to share their success with you.
At this point curiosity sets in. What could the huge reward be? They wonder this thought to themselves as they move the mouse cursor ever closer to the link. Little do they realize that they have reached the tipping point of the Facebook gaming scourge. Once they click that status update, once they let curiosity get the best of them, then it’s too late. Soon their once rich, full lives are consumed with artichoke harvests, pig herding and beet farming. Too dazed to realize their own hysteria, they begin to set their alarm for 3:00 am so they can be up in time to check on their radish crop. Without even realizing it, these once sane people hand over real money for a larger fake farm. It’s no longer just a game; it’s an addiction.
In one of his latest podcasts, entitled Escape From FarmVille, technology expert Leo Laporte recounts his harrowing battle with this disease. A compulsion so terrifying it had him checking FarmVille 10 times a day. “I finally deleted it. At one point I got enough self-worth into me” He sighs, remembering the emotional strain,”I said I don’t need FarmVille and I deleted it.” Let this be a lesson to all of us. If it can happen to Leo, it can happen to anyone. None are safe from the menace of Facebook gaming.
Few of us are unaffected. Even if you’ve never experimented with Facebook games, chances are you have a friend or loved one who has. The afflicted should not be mocked, but pitied. Even now support groups such as FAA (FarmVille Addicts Anonymous) are gaining traction. These people need our support. So please, write your Congressmen, start a victims group, but whatever you do just get involved. Together, we can bring this dreadful blight to an end.