Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Facebook Gaming Fad

I resisted the Facebook fad for a long time. I point blank refused to set up an account, because I really couldn’t care less about it. “If I want to talk to someone”, I reasoned, “then I’ll do it in real life, or even over the phone. I don’t need some internet site to tell me that my ‘friend’ who I haven’t seen/spoken to/thought about in over 4 years has decided to have toast for breakfast instead of cereal”. Also, I was pretty much forced into setting up a Bebo account back in 2006 by my then girlfriend. The concept appealed to me at first, but within about a week I was bored with it, so when I first heard about Facebook I didn’t really pay much attention to it, and later avoided it like the plague because I didn’t want to get sucked into the social networking craze again.

I finally gave up in late 2009, when Sneeze and I started our placement year and founded our company Tyrant Computers, and set up a Facebook account for the advertising potential. I didn’t spend much time on the site myself, but Sneeze started investigating and discovered Mafia Wars. He introduced it to me at work the following day, and I liked the look of it. I played Mafia Wars for a couple of months before getting bored of it, and in this time Sneeze also found Farmville and pretty much forced me into playing that one too. I got bored of Farmville much faster than Mafia Wars mind.

Since I stopped playing Facebook games, the Facebook Gaming Fad as I like to call it seems to have skyrocketed. Even my parents are playing some of them now. The biggest offenders in this area as far as I’m concerned are Zynga. They seem to be largely responsible for the sheer proliferation of games on Facebook. The games by them that I can think of off the top of my head are Mafia Wars, Farmville, Fishville, YoVille, Zynga Poker, Café World and Petville. Then you have the ones by others like Social City and Wild Ones. I have one major problem with all these games: they’re all so similar! What’s the difference between playing Farmville and Fishville? I’ve played Farmville myself and I see my mum playing Fishville almost every night, and the only difference seems to be that instead of shoving plants into a field and waiting for them to grow so you can sell them, you’re throwing fish into a tank and waiting for them to grow so you can sell them. The two games even have an almost identical interface, with a slightly different style for the love of God! And another thing, why are ALL these games in beta? Can Zynga not finish one game before starting to create another? Do they all have ADHD or something?

I think the main thing that irritates me about all these games is their sheer popularity. I’ll go onto Facebook, and I’ll find 20 or so requests for games that I don’t even play, then have sit there clicking “No”, “No”, “No”, “I said no”, “For the love of God NO!”, “Are you DEAF? I SAID NO!!!” And yet, people don’t seem to get the hint. I don’t want to play these games and yet they keep sending me requests even though I refuse them every time. Sneeze told me the other day that he received 45 requests from 6 friends over the course of a day for one of these games. That’s almost 8 requests a person in ONE DAY! Do people really have nothing better to do with their day than sit on Facebook and wait for a timer to tick slowly away?
Well I think I’ll wrap this up now, since I could go on all day about the things that annoy me about Facebook, but they’ll get increasingly petty and I’m pretty sure you’re already getting bored of listening to me, so I’ll shut up now. Thanks for reading!

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