Facebook games and our impending doom

I once played Farmville.

While the initial horror slips off the collective faces of the internet, I’ll explain why: gratification.

These Flash games are grander in scope, and at least those by Zynga (of Farmville imfamy) or Popcap games have an actual budget. Granted, the premise is mostly the same from game to game; you are the owner of (insert place here) and it it is your job as (insert title here) to make it thrive. For example, run a fish store/farm/game studio/zoo/nightclub/hotel/bakery/whatever and make it the best of those that ever was. Or you have the puzzle Bejeweled clones, but those are a less popular ordeal. Now these are all harmless flash games, right?

Maybe not. For one, these games have all the addictive qualities of massively multiplayer games like collecting countless amounts of items, competing for power against your rivals and leveling to an arbitrary number. While none of these sound fun now that i’m typing them, in practice they can grab people. I for one have been playing role-playing games for over a decade. They are also more social games than MMOs. Facebook addiction is a real problem. So is MMO addiction. When you combine the two, problems arise.

Plus the games are just getting annoying. The viral nature of these games makes them need to spread to survive, so people will get hooked, and in turn pay real cash for virtual cheat codes. That is why when a “normal” facebook user gets on the site to connect with family and friends and find out about local events, they are bombarded by a digital feed of asinine requests.

Hate to break the spell, but those aren’t human connections. I understand the feeling, because despite what I’ve said, I will hypocritically play social flash games as long as I enjoy them. Coincidentally, that’s about 3 days each.

Just remember, even if it means building that wall faster, you don’t need to bombard everyones wall.

To understand what that means, try Kingdoms of Camelot. And try not to drown in social gaming.

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