It can be said that it’s a growing social phenomenon when during a romantic interlude between couples, one person shouts ‘OMG! my strawberries are going to die” and runs to the computer. Yes! we’re talking about none other than the modern day equivalent of farming which has been designed to be completely in sync with the time compressed modern life – ‘Farmville’, the place where Strawberries grow in 4 hours and water melons grow in 4 days. This is the farm where you can grow both Tamarind trees and lime on the same soil and you have to adopt cows which wander in from no where.
Farmville is a social game which has been developed by its parent company Zynga. With 60 million players globally, It is projected to rake in $1 billion in 2011 and Google has poured $100 million into the company in an attempt to launch its own ‘Google Games’. It’s popularity can be gauged from the fact that anyone who has ever been on Facebook in Pakistan, 90% of your messages must have been the bombardments to come play the game, help build up the barn, accept a gift, adopt a cow, sheep or simply ‘just be a neighbour’. The gameplay of Facebook is deviously simple – plant something – wait for at least a day- get money – buy plants- wait for at least a day- get money- buy plants and so forth with some additions of buildings and other stuff. In return the player levels up and gets achievements for sticking to the game, which makes the game very addictive. The addiction starts off easy that one day you’re just planting a few plots of wheat and soon you’re hooked buying farms, expanding farms and harvesting 24/7.
Personally however I used to play Farmville but after the 5th time my crops withered due to an active social life, I said ‘Go Moo!’