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Farmville – how are we so hooked?

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It’s just a little game in Facebook. Pretty much duplicating real lives. Work, get cash, work, get cash, .. oh look, I can buy a mailbox! Oh look, I can grow artichokes!  Work more.  Buy a harvester. It needs gas. Work more. Unlike real life, there isn’t even an option for a passive income.

But alas, I have tried everything to completely unhook myself.  I discovered it only two weeks ago when, in my notifications page,  I found 30 ‘gifts’ from friends for farmville. Little pigs, peach trees, that sort of thing.   So, I accepted.  That was my first mistake.  

I can’t even begin to think what the attraction is.  The graphics are cute.  I was thrilled when I created little sign posts that sent people on treasure hunts.  But the sign posts kept disappearing, making it a pretty rotten treasure hunt.  But I kept working so I could buy wishing wells.  And the tree house! 

I bought a barn and ‘hid’ the animals inside.  That was fun. Some of my friends couldn’t figure that one out.  But when I hit and killed a squirrel in real life (I’m still sad about that), I felt bad for my hidden animals on Farmville and I let them ‘out’.

When I was out camping in real life, I noticed how the fields of real farms were arranged like Farmville farms.  And I’m sure that the fruit trees in the neighbourhood are copies of Farmville trees.

One day, I realized…umm… I was spending wayyy too much time checking my crops. And I kept visiting other farms and leaving messages intended to be funny (I thought they were funny, but it’s a subjective thing) so that I could win AWARDS… red ribbons, blue ribbons! 

So I sold my farm. I sold everything for peanuts, everything I”d worked so hard for.. except the outhouse.  I figured people might like the pit stop. 

Seriously, if you sell everything, there’d be no point starting over, now would there? (Like other game apps on facebook, you cannot actually  delete yourself and your access. Scary)    But people kept sending me gifts.. and if I got 15 unique gifts in the gift box, I’d get an award! AND I could post it and my friends would also get a cash gift!  

But there’s no way I am  going to rebuild the whole farm.. so now I leave the crops in the shape of letters… messages for airplanes that fly over. But there are no airplanes, so I think the messages are for aliens.

My friends buy in… I now have messages from aliens posted on my farm, and I hear I’m going to be gifted an alien transmitter.  (Some people call it a birdhouse, but we know better.)

One friend deleted a duck and is horrified. I suggested she try finding it in her recycle bin.  Not sure she thought that was funny.

I’m okay, really.  The very few crops I planted won’t be ready for harvest for 4 days or so.. so I can go camping.

Is there some sort of conspiracy going on, do you think?  Is there something in the game’s ions/electron/colour that’s addictive? Is there something going on in the real world that ‘they’ don’t want 40,937,105 monthly active users of Farmville to notice?  hmmm…

And then there is FARM TOWN.  What’s up with having TWO very similar applications?  Friends sent gifts and told me it was better.  I started a facebook group called “I will NEVER join Farm Town.”  Nobody joined so I deleted it.  I see that at some point in my facebook history I had actually looked at this application, because I ‘peeked’ and there I was.  It’s okay, though, I haven’t been back. 

But back to Farmville, any psychologists reading this that can explain 40,937,105 monthly active users’ addiction?  This is beyond my field of expertise.

And as for ‘them”… I’m on to you.  I know you are up to something while 40,937,105 monthly active users are distracted.  Don’t feel threatened or anything. I’m not near as ingenious as you.. so I won’t be a danger to your mission. Really.

And I”m okay.  When I click publish on this post, I am NOT going to go check my farm.  The crops aren’t ready, anyway.


About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

2 responses »

  1. It’s fun to actually imagine having a farm of our own. Now people usually just own an apartment.

    Having a virtual farm like farmville lets us enjoy the ‘cute’ side of having trees, crops, goats, sheep, and cows without having to deal with the ugly part of them the animals running over your crops, pooping around, or actually chasing YOU all over the field :).

    Also see our website at for tips & tricks and videos on on Farmville.

  2. Nice of farmtown relations to stop by. I think there’s probably a bit more to the rampant addiction to farmtown than it’s cuteness. Perhaps in a world that is quite chaotic, having a place to create order is attractive. I dunno. I do know I now have a magical labyrinth on my farm.


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