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Many gamers have debated whether Facebook games like FarmVille are "real" games. Where do you stand?

The very first video game I ever played was "Shark Attack" for Atari 2600. This early memory established my love for both sharks, and video games (not necessarily in that order). As I grew up, I owned several game consoles like the NES, SNES, Sega, PlayStation/PlayStation 2, Nintendo 64, Xbox 360 and the Wii. 

I didn't, however, play very many PC games while growing up. I had arcade-style games like "Frogger" for Windows 95, and dabbled in "Diablo ll" in my Windows 98 days. More recently, I had an infatuation with "World of Warcraft" and "Spore," but that's about it. 

Fast forward to summer 2009, when I first created my Facebook. I realize I jumped on the Facebook bandwagon a little later than most, but I was anti-social networking up until that point. Curiosity got the best of me, eventually. 

The first month of having a Facebook was confusing for someone who knew nothing about it. My problem wasn't the fact that I couldn't figure out how to post a status or add friends or anything, but rather, I didn't understand the barrage of game requests. I thought Facebook was just MySpace minus the music. 

This brings me to a debate that I've thought about and read about numerous times, but haven't really discussed with anyone yet: Are Facebook games considered "real" games?

The first time I made the comparison in my head, my first thought was, "Absolutely not." Facebook games are completely ridiculous and uninteresting. Zynga's little farm animals on FarmVille and gangsters on Mafia Wars do not compare to a console or PC game, which has a plot, better graphics and better overall gameplay.

But all opinions aside, really think about it. At this point, has FarmVille evolved to possess these qualities that we love about console/PC games? Meaning, a plot, better graphics and lengthy, in-depth gameplay? The things a person can do on FarmVille now as opposed to what they could do on the game two years ago has progressed by leaps and bounds. For instance, I saw some random post the other day talking about their U.S. farm and their British farm. FarmVille is going global, folks. 

With the user's character and farm constantly evolving, it seems players always have more options or choices to make in order to continuously play the game, while console/PC games tend to take a few hours or days to beat, and then you're done until a slightly different version is released a year later for $60 a pop. 

I've heard some arguments categorize FarmVille and other Facebook games with apps on smartphones like Angry Birds, saying they are just time-wasters. In my opinion, this is absolutely true for most games on Facebook, and I also feel that way about FarmVille because I see it as a waste of time. But for those who are hardcore FarmVille players, this might not be the case. Like the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, FarmVille has a large social network that allows "neighbors" to play the game with one another in real-time, and they do it for hours and hours, day after day.

My conclusion? You probably think I'm an avid digital farmer, but that's not what I'm getting at. I simply find it interesting that a game developed and played much like other role play console/PC titles is treated like a second-rate citizen, and I'm curious as to why gamers think this is. 

Personally, I'm sticking with the "I'm too cool for FarmVille" attitude. I like my retro games and select new titles for my various consoles, and I'm sticking to it. For me, the biggest problem is that the game is just uninteresting and annoying, especially when I have to watch my aunts and 10-year-old nieces posting "PLEEZ HELP MY FARM!!! SEND ME RABBITS!!11!" every two minutes. It's cult-like, kind of like die-hard Apple fans shaving Apple's into the back of their heads and selling kidneys for an iPad 2.

I can sit here and laugh at all the people exchanging digital pigs on Facebook, but Facebook may get the last laugh if its games make it the biggest bank by 2015 as Ken Rutkowski, founder and president of Metal International, predicted last month.

But my question stands: What makes FarmVille "less than" console/PC titles as far as development and gameplay goes? What specific characteristics must it obtain to reach the ultimate status of being a "real" game?

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RE: What game isn't?
By EricMartello on 6/5/2011 9:37:11 AM , Rating: -1
It seems like there's a combination of wishful thinking and pure ignorance in your reply...though a lot of people on this site are gamers and I would like to see if anyone actually agrees with anything you said. Looks like you attempted and failed at being clever.

That was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but your point that FPS are better is not correct. Why spend time on a FPS when you could be studying English (to learn the difference between your and you're, for instance) or art (which might consequently improve your ability to design an aesthetically pleasing farm in Farmville) or something fulfilling (like having an actual farm that grows vegetables and fruit)?

No doubt that you find Failville to be challenging. It's probably right at your pace. Do you study a language to correct common typos? I bet your doing! Do you consider an inane flash game "art"? Clearly you are a renaissance man with sophisticated tastes and lots of good advice. What are you going to tell us next? How you keep your wife satisfied by letting the mailman pound her in a Motel 6 while you spend hours figuring out where to stick your failville house? LOL

RE: What game isn't?
By wordsworm on 6/6/2011 8:03:04 AM , Rating: 1
You seem to be mentally retarded.

I couldn't care less if anyone disagrees with me or not. The truth doesn't care about popularity. It is what it is.

Art is making something beautiful or meaningful from some kind of medium. It really doesn't matter what one uses to paint the canvas. What matters is the aesthetic of the artist him or herself.

We don't have a Motel 6 here, as far as I know. Is that where you go with your family?

People who play Farmville ought not to be judged based on their choice of entertainment. Farmville itself is not a bad form of entertainment. I played it a bit with my wife until we grew bored of it. I did my long hours with FPS starting with Wolfenstein, Doom, and ending with Quake and Serious Sam, before it became boring for me. How many times can you frag someone before it becomes boring? Apparently it took me about 7 or 8 years. The best game I've played in a long time is The Movies. It's much more interesting than FPS. You should try it.

RE: What game isn't?
By EricMartello on 6/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: What game isn't?
By wordsworm on 6/8/2011 9:43:14 AM , Rating: 3
There are people who played farmville who went on to have a real farm. Imagine that, a farm that does something that's essential to the welfare of the human race. What exactly does a race car driver accomplish that's useful? Sounds like a waste of time to me. Not to mention it wastes fuel and resources to race around in circles.

In any case, I'm glad that there are many Motel 6s for you to get some privacy with your mother. The country in which I live does not have them:

RE: What game isn't?
By EricMartello on 6/10/2011 5:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
Please illustrate how playing farmville DIRECTLY enabled a person to learn true farming skills such as maintaining equipment, establishing tradelines to sell your crops/livestock, properly managing the land, etc...



Oh wait, farmville does nothing of the sort so at best you have some weak correlation of someone playing a game called "farmville" that has little to do with farming, who decided to start a real farm...because playing farmville will not teach you anything about operating a real farm. At best it may make some peoople curious about farming, but so could a book.

No we know you're a moron; that has already been firmly established. You are not funny despite your best attempts...which begs the question, why do you continue posting? Still mad about the Motel 6 comment? LOL You're wife isn't mad. She likes it. Did you check her email and text messages or did she delete them? You're probably fat too. Awww..

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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