Confessions of a Facebook games addict

They say for your blog to gain a loyal following, you need to update it consistently. Ummm… I think I’ll just appreciate the few readers I do have, since consistent doesn’t seem to be in my vocabulary.

The Japanese theme really whet my appetite for restaurant design. It's a work in progress at this point. No, I don't have a social life.

Anyway, I’m blaming my lapse of posting on a new Facebook game I’ve gotten hooked on. That’s right. I’m one of those Facebook people. The ones posting requests for help building a chop shop on Mafia Wars, looking for ingredient trades on Restaurant City, or asking for help building a temple on My Empire.

If you’re one of my Facebook friends, I probably annoy you.

I am aware of how much I might be spamming your news feed. Really, I am. I try not to be too obnoxious in my posting. I don’t make the “brag” posts when I complete a dish or finish building a wonder or level up. I try to only post when I need help to advance in the game. Unfortunately for my friends’ feed, it’s a necessary evil.

That’s the one thing I don’t like about Facebook games — the social aspect. How you have to have so many “friends” if you really want to advance in the game. Granted, there are some games on Facebook that don’t require having friends who also play, but they seem to be few and far between. (Or boring.)

Oh, I know, logically, why the game developers want it this way. To get more people to play their game and to possibly spend money along the way. They’re a business and it’s in their best interest to get more people to play. I get that. But at the same time I hate that I have to spam my friends’ news feed with constant requests for help.

This is where I wish Facebook could separate application feeds from status updates, link posts, “like” announcements, etc. I may be wrong, but I vaguely recall being able to do this when I first joined Facebook. Being able to choose which kinds of updates you see on your news feed would be so helpful to everyone. But seeing how little Facebook listens to its users, I doubt that feature will ever be available.

I like Facebook games, and I joke about being an “addict,” but the truth is, I don’t really think I am that addicted to them. I go for days sometimes without logging in to check on the status of my restaurant workers. I haven’t played Mafia Wars much in over a week (because it’s just becoming a little too frustrating) (as frustrating as a game that takes no real effort to play can be). I like Facebook games because they’re (mostly) simple, and best of all, they’re free. I don’t need an expensive game system to design my own island country, and I don’t need to pay an outlandish price to install a treasure hunting app.

That’s not to say I haven’t ever spent money on these games. I have. Twice. But each time was a very small amount and over a year apart. I got taken in by some of the fancier items you have to spend real money to get, but not to an extreme. Certainly not $1400 worth of virtual items. I’ve spent far, far more on Webkinz. I don’t think the piddly little amounts of real cash I’ve paid for these games qualifies me as an addict. Maybe temporarily insane, but I had fun at the time, and my checkbook wasn’t exactly dented. One Wii game would cost more than what I paid to buy exclusive items for my virtual restaurant.

So until I get bored with my restaurant and my empire and digging for buried treasure, I’ll continue to annoy my friends list with game posts. And I am sorry for that. But I get a kick out of designing crap, apparently. (Not that you could tell from looking at my actual life.) And to satisfy that craving to design, I have to be one of those annoying Facebook people. So, to my friends on Facebook who continue to remain my friend, even though I’m one of those people, I’m both sorry for spamming you and grateful to you for keeping me around.

(Facebook tip: You can block these posts from showing on your feed. When you see an update from one of the many game applications, hover your mouse over it. A “Hide” button will appear. Click that, then click “Hide [Application Name].” (Or click “Hide [user]” but then you wouldn’t be able to read any of my witty posts. Wait… forget I said that.)

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Filed under gaming, this is my life

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