One of many games on Facebook, by Zynga, Farmville boasts more than 24 million players worldwide. Simplistic description: You develop a farm where you raise and harvest crops like fruits, grains, vegetables and flowers. You gain animals, trees, decorations, and neighbors [fellow Farmville addicts]. The game remains in Beta development and is subject to lags and numerous temporary glitches as the developers strive to correct issues in a game which has become complex enough to hold the interest of adults.
One interesting facet, to me, is that more than 50% of my 31 neighbors are also fellow members of The Writing Forum, the very best showcase for writers on the Internet today [I may be somewhat biased but my fellow TWFers are quick to agree].
But my question is this: What is there about Farmville that fascinates us all? We are looking at people with busy lives; law enforcement persons, college students, brick-layers, child psychologists; people supporting families at home and in society. We are seeing poets and prose-writers, deep-thinkers whose lives are living journals. Yet we all devote many hours per week in this seemingly frivolous Farmville pursuit. Some of us even spend real money to enhance our game, and we tolerate the glitches and the lags. Why?
Being myself, the major addiction stems from the in-game social interaction with friends and neighbors thru Facebook postings and thru visiting back and forth with the neighbors. I like the lengthy routine of visiting each neighbor's farm, pulling his weeds, chasing his raccoons and gophers, fertilizing some of his crops and feeding his cooped-up chickens. Aside from the Fuel Bounty rewards and the Mystery Eggs, these visitations are a large part of my in-game enjoyment, watching their daily "agrarian" progress.
Two of my neighbors come to mind: There is the young fellow from the Arab Emirates, who is so friendly. And there is a lady and her husband who live in Croatia; the stories they tell were written in blood and would raise the hair on the back of your neck. So, while the game of Farmville continues to grow in complexity, it will always be the people who bring me back each day. Excuse me for a moment while I go plant some peas!