When I got a Facebook account I didn’t expect the constant invites to play Facebook games. I played a few and found they had little depth and weren’t entertaining. It seemed the games existed only to suck you in and get your friends to play too. As a gamer for over two decades, I’m left to wonder what all the fuss over the Farmville and other games like it are about.
Does FarmVille have a story?
What’s the point, to build a farm? I know the point is to interact with your friends in a different way then just on their Facebook wall. You can have your friends feed your animals or water your crops. Is this really engaging? Does it feel the same way as beating a difficult boss in a multiplayer game on Xbox Live? No, it seems like the interaction is berating your friends to watch your farm and they spam you until the favor is returned. What’s at stake in the game? A wilted crop instead of the fate of the free world, like in many other video games? I think I’ll pass on the farm.
Does FarmVille require skill?
I know there are plenty of great video games without a deep story, like Tetris. The difference between Tetris and FarmVille is skill. It takes skill, practice, and patience to get a high score in games like Tetris. All that is required in FarmVille is playing again and again. You get ribbons and level up, but there’s no reason why anyone else with time on their hands can’t do the same. There can’t be a feeling of accomplishment or knowing you completed a task your friends couldn’t.
You can spend real money on virtual junk.
You can buy a virtual dog for your Xbox Live avatar and I’m against that too.The difference is the lack of a Xbox Live pet doesn’t stop you from leveling up quickly in Modern Warfare. However in FarmVille, real money is required if you want special items for your farm. Real money lets you get a bigger farm faster. Doing repetitive tasks needed to level up for free takes too long. If you’re going to spend money to bypass the work of the game, why play it?
As someone who grew up loving video games for their story and difficulty, it’s hard to see FarmVille and other games like it as more then fads. A part of me thinks it’s popular solely because of being convenient on Facebook. You’re on there anyway, so why not play a game? Your friends send you requests, and as a good friend, you accept. It’s like peer pressure. But, where is the challenge or that feeling of pride when you accomplish a task your friends couldn’t? Why waste time on a “game” that truly has no skill needed?