If You Need Me, I’ll Be On My Farm…

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I donned my detective costume for this writing assignment…

When I’m stressed, or overworked, or overwhelmed (one or more of these happens at least once a day), I escape to a little place known around these parts as L.M. Farm. There, after about 20 minutes of planting, harvesting, petting the animals, giving and receiving gifts with my neighbors, all is right with the world again. That’s because I am one of the estimated 75 million folks each month who love to play Farmville, which is now the top Zynga game on Facebook.

What makes Farmville so popular? Well, according to one article I pulled up this morning, people love Farmville because it is a tangled web of social obligations. This has to do with people looking for engagement with others, I guess, but at arm’s length and from the comfort of their own living room. It can, in some cases, become an added stressor rather than a stress reliever, if those self imposed obligations to give and receive, harvest and plow, become yet another chore on the overloaded to-do list. And, if you have a truly addictive personality, you can get into real trouble because Zynga offers “Farm Bucks” for a fee, if only you’ll click that button after you input your handy dandy credit card number. My advice? Don’t even go down that road. This is a free game, and when it ceases to be free, then it ceases to be fun.

What do I love MOST about my Farm? All the pretty colors!

Interestingly, typical Farmville players buck general gamer trends and are in fact NOT young and male, but 40-something women! According to Good Morning America, Zynga originally developed the game to appeal to teens, but they seem to be just about the only demographic that doesn’t play. I’ve noticed that some Facebook users have an especially virulent hatred of Farmville, hence the popularity of several Facebook Groups entitled “I don’t care about your Farm…”, which prompted a counter Group,  “I don’t care that you don’t care about my Farm”, and the counter counter group I saw today, “I don’t care that you don’t care, that I don’t care about your Farm”.

Yes, those ARE my initials, fashioned from pink and purple hay bales. Clever, no? 😉

I posted the following question on my Facebook Wall:

ATTN: FARMVILLE PLAYERS! I just had a burst of brain activity which sometimes leads to a future Blog. 😉 But, I need your help…Tell me, briefly, and as a comment to this status line, Why Do You Play Farmville? Why do you like it more than other online games?

My dogs, Snickers and Scarlett, post treat!

Not surprisingly, most of my Friends didn’t answer (they’re probably members of one of those “I don’t care about your Farm” groups), but the two who did are the very two who I can always count on to provide me with nails and boards for whatever nutball project I’m “working hard on” for my Farm. Well, make that farm(s), as I’ve recently been suckered into adding yet another Farm in the English countryside…Oy Vey! These two Friends are also within the core demographic of typical Farmville users too—40-something, fabulous females whose Farms are many, many levels above mine…

So what did my Friends have to say about why they love Farmville?

I heard this from Farmer Ivy, who compiled a list of the Top Ten Reasons She Loves Farmville, a la Letterman:

  1. Requires no serious thought, relaxes brain.
  2. Makes me feel like I am really working while in my pj’s in my bed… Therefore I am not really lazy.
  3. I just have to stay ahead of {my friend} Claudia and can’t let up one minute.
  4. I think I am getting a six pack from all that plowing. Hum, well, I did buy one yesterday.
  5. Keeps my mind off of sex, men and inpure thoughts.
  6. Gives me a sense of self worth since Obama put us in the toilet.
  7. Keeps me from going to Walmart and the gas station.
  8. Cheaper than going to Walmart and especially the gas station.
  9. Since I don’t have grandchildren, the little pigs and sheep gives me a granny fix.
  10. Fantasy land…Although there are others I like more. 🙂

Farmer Kim said:

“Mindless entertainment, I guess. I prefer FV to other FB games because I can play as little or as much as I like. I don’t need to worry about falling behind like I do on some of the other games, but at the same time there is always something I can do on my farm if I have time to waste”.

To which she added a few minutes later….

“Actually, another burst of brain activity on my end tells me that I am horribly addicted to the silly game and I don’t think I actually even know why”.

And finally, a middle aged Male Farmer, who we’ll call Farmer X has said on multiple occasions…

“I love my Farm. I have everything just the way I want it. I wish I could live there…maybe when I retire.”

No kidding…Farmer X has IT ALL! An Enchanted Forest, a Family Cemetery, etc. See for yourself…

Thanks for your input, Farmers Ivy, Kim, and X—I’ll just say ditto. Keep sending those boards and nails! I’ve got an English sheep pen to finish…

Now it’s your turn. Do you love Farmville? Hate it? Love it, but need a 12 Step Program because of it? Comment below!

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