Interesting perspectives on Farmville

I’ve never really got into Farmville despite being invited by an old school friend (Hi Clare!) who clearly really got into it if Facebook is anything to go by. Maybe I don’t have the patience or something.

Then I saw this article which helped explain its popularity:

people are playing Farmville because people are playing Farmville
Farmville is popular because in entangles users in a web of social obligations.
The most important thing to recognize here is that, whether we like it or not, seventy-three million people are playing Farmville: a boring, repetitive, and potentially dangerous activity that barely qualifies as a game. Seventy-three million people are obligated to a company that holds no reciprocal ethical obligation toward those people.

So what’s interesting is that Farmville is about respecting and reinforcing social bonds – now I feel bad for not actually responding to Clare (sorry, was in a travel week…) but also that Zynga are cleverly using this to line their own pockets. I’m not too sure how I feel – that so many people are using to socially groom each other is a wonderful thing, but that the economic surplus is going to one entity seems a little bit of a shame.

Anyway, at least I understand why people play it, even if I can’t actually get engaged with it myself!