The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Farmville addiction sweeps nation

I don’t know what it is about FarmVille. Maybe it’s the satisfaction of watching as you harvest your own artichokes. Maybe it’s the joy of finding a stray goose on your plot of land. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t even begin to understand the allure of the Facebook application that has swept the nation.

Now, to be fair, I myself have never personally used the social networking game, but I have witnessed as many of my friends have been sucked in by the––as far as I can tell––pointless and completely idiotic game. They spend their valuable time harvesting cyber-vegetables and cyber-trees. If they make enough cyber-money, eventually they can buy some cyber-horses and maybe a cyber-cow or two.

From what I have observed, the game obviously has an addictive quality: participants will go on every few hours (or minutes for the hopelessly obsessed) to see if their crop is any closer to being “100%” harvestable. It’s all just a way for Facebook to ensure that its users will log on more often.

Nevertheless, FarmVille has exploded with great success on the scene. As of November, it had over 60 million users, and it’s only been around since June. Users can invite their real-life friends to become their online neighbors; they can even help each other water their crops or shoo pesky gophers out of each other’s farms. It’s some really exciting stuff.

Like I said, I don’t understand FarmVille–or the appeal it holds for teenagers and adults–but I will say this: at least it’s a game that does’t reward people for shooting someone. Maybe, FarmVille will single-handedly turn America’s youth into a nurturing, nature-loving generation. Or maybe not.

View Comments (11)

Comments (11)

The Knight Errant intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Knight Errant does not allow anonymous comments, and the Knight Errant requires first and last names and a valid email address in order for comments to be published. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Knight Errant Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • R

    Rosie BroughFeb 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

    The allure for me is the free stuff that is constantly coming on from all my friends! I lclicked faster and got it!! YES! And no real money is involved this is optional! You don’t need real money to play even a little. Unlike a lot of games where you have to buy “food” or other stuff just to keep your game going. NO VIOLENCE of any kind! I’m so sick of those shoot games that is ALL that is out there right now. Yes I am addicted. I still get my housework done, kids tucked in, and so forth. Both my daughters play so we get to chat and keep in touch everyday thru this game. And yes I do remember it is a VIRTUAL game. I have planted real vegetables and do not like the fertiziling, tending, bug ridding of all that work to yeild in something I can buy at a store MUCH cheaper. I would rather also have my 9 yr old tending fake vegs than killing that monster with real looking wounds on a PS3!! Plus I KNOW that she is safe, not surfing the web or the real streets getting into God knows what!

  • L

    Liz LawtonFeb 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I can’t believe people have the time to play.
    As for children playing it, it’s pretty sad that their parents can’t teach them to grow something for real in the yard/garden. Even on a window sill.
    It is good that there’s no violence that’s one thing but for a kid to sit passively at a screen if he/she is healthy and able to take part in physical activity, then surely persuade the kid to be active in the real world. I can see maybe the case for an autistic child to play Farmville as therapy, or a child in a hospital bed or a wheelchair, but if you are able bodied get outside and shovel snow or dig a hole and plant a tree!

  • S

    sam meshbesherFeb 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    You’re acting as if it changes the world and all who have ever played it. It gets really boring, which is why i played for a week and quit. of you look at most of the farms, they are dead and barren from neglect.

  • P

    Patrick GallagherFeb 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    If you think you don’t understand the attraction pity me and my generation!! Great job of touching on an interesting subject that has caught peoples interest. Keep up the good work !!

  • M

    Mark MurphyFeb 2, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Nice article. Way to go Meredith!

    Like you, I puzzle about the allure of farmville. If you view the diversions available in the (silicon-based) cyberworld as a set of alternate realities for people who would rather spend time there instead of the carbon-based world, then I guess it’s comforting that people would choose a place like farmville. The knowledge and skills learned there might be more useful back here in the carbon-based world than, say, what kind of grenade do you need to kill a Cyrillian three-toed dragon. As to turning America’s youth into a nurturing, nature-loving generation, considering the volume of traffic and the content of the alternate realities…maybe it’s best if they stay there.

  • M

    Morgan GethamJan 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    As the former co-owner of a small game company, I would like to say that EVERY game has an element of unreality about it, whether it’s solitaire, Monopoly, or Farmville. That’s the whole idea of a game! It’s SUPPOSED to take you away from the rest of your life for a time. The Zynga games do that, and do it well. Different people have different playing styles and different objectives in playing these various games, but all of them obviously get SOMETHING out of the games or they wouldn’t be so popular. So these are the hula hoops of the 2010 decade.

  • S

    sandeeJan 30, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I agree 100%…
    .i started playing this game and after a while it took up way too much time with nothing really to show. All my friends who play are addicted…bored me. I started playing Fairyland…at least, in that game, I have made amazing friends from all over the world……surprisingly, once u figure out what’s going on it’s very personal and enlightening.

  • B

    Beverly WhyteJan 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    FARMVILLE does contain some valid lessons for its users. Points may be gained and coins may be earned by helping others with their mundane difficulties. By fertilizing a neighbor’s fields or pulling their weeds you garner rewards. You can even benefit from feeding their chickens, since you may get to then hatch special eggs. Although the game is not completely altruistic, it does seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of those that reward devastation and destruction. Frankly I’d rather be cultivating artichokes and tending golden geese than dodging vampires and hunting down motorcyclist skeletons any day of the week.

  • S

    Sheri HinzJan 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I find Farmville very exciting. My children and grandchildren love the fact that we can sit in our own homes and talk with each other and play a game that keeps us connected. My daughter and my two grandsons live more than an hour away and we can talk daily via Farmville. My youngest grandson who is 5 yrs old pointed out to his mother while we were on together that my avatar did not look like Memaw. He was right and I immediately went in and changed her to look like his Memaw so he could see me from his living room. My oldest grandson and I play Farmtown also, and we have been hired by the same farmer (some where on another continent) to harvest and plow crops, which is somewhat rare, because you have to go to the market to be hired. We find either of these games to be quit beneficial to the upbringing of young people in that they must work hard to receive benefits ($$). It teaches them responsibility to not only the land they occupy, but the animals they are intrusted with. Thanks Farmville and Farmtown for allowing this family to stay intouch across the miles!

  • D

    Deborah L KellisonJan 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    What is wrong with enjoying a game? What about PS3 or Xbox? those are games also. Also …. it isn’t violent. Just let us have our fun!

  • C

    Connor GerdesJan 21, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Farmville is a scourge upon the Internet. It’s not a game, it’s a bloody chore. I really don’t understand what possibly drives someone to “play” it. If you play, you need to reevaluate your life. You are literally watching virtual grass grow, and trick yourself believing you’ve accomplished something. I don’t believe anyone actually enjoys clicking upwards of 200 times a day over and over, it’s that false sense of accomplishment. Farmville rewards players for publishing what is essentially advertisements all over their personal Facebook, and some people just eat it up.

    Not to mention the company behind it, Zynga, could be facing a class action lawsuit for their exploits, and fake offers leading to the sale of personal information as well as installation of spyware. The CEO of Zynga admitted he “did every nasty thing in the book” to get revenue as soon as possible.

    Now excuse me while I go back to the visceral satisfaction that an actual game provides: Team Fortress 2. I’ll be shooting someone, so pray for me or something.

Activate Search
The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN
Farmville addiction sweeps nation