It seems everyone I know, or almost everyone I know, has set up a “farm” on Facebook with the Farm Town game. When I first joined in on social networking, I never thought I would actually be tempted to play any of the games; after all, I'd much rather blog or do something else that is productive than play a virtual game with no apparent real-life payoff. However, after seeing the massive growth in the number of games available, and the number of people seriously involved in them, it has officially become a phenomenon.
Why do people get virtual farms on Facebook? Or any other virtual business, for that matter, since I just saw you can also set up shop and own a virtual restaurant as well? Funny enough, games like Farm Town elicit serious commitment from the people using it. You have to go back periodically to check up on your crops, because… horror of horrors, they could go “to waste.” In which case, you wasted your virtual money, instead of only wasting time.
As if playing Farm Town wasn’t enough, there are also a lot of instructional videos on YouTube explaining how to achieve particular effects on the game. Who else has noticed this growing trend among Facebook users? Every person in my office plays the game, and we often hear one person yell out “want to harvest for me” across the room to another. Trust me, this has nothing to do with our regular day to day work away from our virtual farms.