FaceBook Games

FaceBook Games

For the past month I have been ploughing fields, planting crops, rearing sheep and chickens, milking cows and earning enough money to buy more land and farm equipment (tractors, seeders etc). At the same time I have been growing my commercial fish tanks, and I now have three tanks, each with 50 exotic fish in them. They all need constant care, feeding and cleaning but that all helps with the price when it comes to selling them. With regards to profit I haven’t done too badly with my fish tanks – currently I have 126,319 sand dollars!

No, it’s not an April fool! Probably 50 percent of you readers, will be thinking “What is this guy talking about??!” and the other 50 percent of you will be thinking “Ah, he’s been playing Facebook games – I wonder whether he can send me a gift for my farm?!”

FaceBook is a social networking website and was originally created to help students but has since been adopted by over 200 million users to network and share information with each other. It has grown dramatically over recent years through the addition of built in mini computer programs that enable people to play online games – two of which (FarmVille and FishVille) I have been playing this month.

Before I started playing, I thought that this type of pastime was a bit pointless, but having so many customers playing these games, I decided to have a go myself! I can now see the attraction – the games are enjoyable, easy to understand and give a welcome break to the monotomy of day to day life.

The games encourage you, through the use of incentives and bonuses, to invite other friends to play. For example, in FishVille (yep, that’s its real name!) I am currently on level 27 with 3 fish tanks and 10 neighbours (friends that have linked to me in the game). If I want to buy any more tanks then I need to either have 21 neighbours or MUCH more money so this incentivizes me to either continue playing to earn money or involve more people in the game. Most of the games also give you the opportunity to move forward faster by spending REAL money on your credit card to buy more “game” money. This is something that I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to do.

If I had any minor concern it is that it could easily become addictive if you are not careful.
The online medical dictionary defines addiction as “a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance” and these games could certainly fall into this category – so does that make them bad? I guess the answer depends on your point of view, as always. Many people will use them to spend time relaxing and escaping from the troubles or worries of “real life”, and I guess there is nothing wrong with that – as long as it doesn’t start to become an excuse for not dealing with those same issues.

For me, after 4 weeks, I just got bored! – Perhaps I am not cut out for farming, or perhaps I don’t have sufficient friends to keep the game interesting – either way I am going to close my farm, sell and drain my fish tanks and in the words of that great BBC children’s TV programme of the eighties “Why Don’t You” I’m going to “…Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?”

So, until next month, enjoy whatever it is you decide to do to relax – Richard.