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fryfry avatar 4:43 PM on 02.27.2010  (server time)
I "played" FarmVille

After watching the rage inducing episode of GameTrailer's Bonus Round from a few weeks ago, in which a guest stated that it was fine to buy WoW gold for real money, I became interested in a little game called FarmVille. I didn't know much about it, other than the fact that all of my female friends on Facebook seemed to be in love with it. After hearing so many good things about it during the episode, I felt there was reason enough for me to give it a try. After all, according to him it was the “future of the gaming business.” I told myself that I would give it a try for two weeks and then come to a conclusion. Two weeks are finally up.

There's not really a whole lot that can be said about the game. You are a farmer with a field and you grow things. You then wait to harvest the things you've planted and then repeat the process. You can also add buildings and animals to your farm which take up more space and result in lower profits. Decorations and other useless things can also be purchased to make your farm look like a yard sale. From all of my friends farms, I understand that the tackier it looks, the better you are doing. This is the obvious objective of the game, as there is no end.

This is the game, I shit you not.

The game utilizes two different forms of currency: gold and dollars. Gold being fake money that you make by growing things and throwing shit on your neighbors plants, and dollars which are earned through leveling/achievements... and spending real money. FarmVille, at it's roots, is nothing more than a flash game with microtransactions. Do you need to pay to play the game? Absolutely not. In fact, during my two weeks playing, I saw no need to spend money at all. I had massed a small fortune by the end by doing nothing more than planting and harvesting crops several times a day, based upon their pay back. I could have bought machines to make my field tending easier, but there was no need. However, I assume that clicking on little squares over and over is too much for the normal Facebook user. After the first four days of dedicated farming, I had lost all interest in the game. I switched out my 4 hour crops for 2 day crops and gone back to doing things of relevant interest to me.

However, while the game was a complete waste of my time, I actually can see the game's appeal. To someone that has never played Harvest Moon, this must seem like the coolest concept ever. You get to work in the virtual world and earn virtual money for the time you virtually invest. And the best part of it all? You get to show it off to your friends with lots of little updates that appear all over your page because clicking the “don't show” button is for losers. People must know of your great achievements, otherwise why would you bother playing? But I do admit that I found myself constantly maintaining my crops for the first 3 days. I wanted to plant those fucking berries...

Harvesting crops, just like a real farmer!

But is this really the future of gaming? As much as I hate to say it, In a way I think it's the first huge step in what we'll be seeing in the years to come. Games like this are much more accessible. There's nothing to download, playing straight in the users browser on any given platform, and they're obviously making money off of it. After all, what's a few dollars here and there, especially if you're not playing anything else? Make it accessible and appealing. Look how well the Wii did. With a few exceptions, it's nothing more than a casual gamers paradise. It's obvious there's easy money to be had in today's market, and companies are going to seek it. But will it have an impact on people like us? I wish I knew the answer to that.

In conclusion, FarmVille is a thing that exists and you should pay it no attention. It's nothing but a time sink with microtransations hovering around in the background. Honestly, go play some Harvest Moon. Not only is it a better game, but there's more to do than just click about to shitty music. Or better yet, Robot Unicorn Attack.

Now back to Deadly Premonition.

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