Thursday, December 17, 2009

Facebook Games

Wassup Hepcats.
I can't write for long today (and we'll contiune soon with the endless lists that make up this part of the year) because I have to go upgrade my Research Lab to Level Two, and Raid an Ore Mine.
Yes, Hepcats, I have been sucked in again by the scourge of our online existence: The Facebook Game.
They're all basically the same: you click on a button to begin a process, wait a designated amount of time for the process to complete, and are then rewarded with something that you can use to begin more processes. As you become a more experienced clicker, the designated time for the process to complete takes longer, but your reward is greater.
I know. I can hear you. "That isn't a game," you say. "A game involves a skill of some sort, or the option of a negative outcome. That is just, why, that's just a carrot and a stick!"

You are absolutely right. So why is this bullshit so addicitive? Why did I once wake up at four in the morning to collect my take from a massage parlor in "Mafia Wars"?

Because if you don't, the game takes your shit from you, that's why. Wait too long, and all your clicking has gone to waste. Your FarmVille corn, that you spent 20 minutes lining up in perfect rows, will have wilted. Some phantom "rival" mobster will have busted up your illegal sportsbook (and probably made off with your hoes.)

That's just one part of the mad genius of these games. The other (not counting the shady crap they want you to click on the get more loot, the free trials and surveys and what not) is that some games make you recruit friends. One perk of actually signing up is that those random updates in your news feed make sense all of sudden. The one I'm playing now, "StarFleet Commander", has certain tasks you can't even do unless you sign up new players. (So if you're Facebook friends with me, send me a note so I can sign you up.)

So basically the goal of these games is to keep playing them, and to invite others to do the same. It's a Mobius strip of 21st century marketing. The machines are self aware. The end is nigh.


  1. The information that there are certain tasks on Starfleet Commander which require that you recruit friends is wrong. You can build droids to do the same tasks, although they give you a somewhat lesser yield than real people.

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