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Like lots of people, Google shells out money for Farmville

Posted: 07/13/10 06:00 AM

Have you played Farmville? There are estimates that one in ten Americans has. It’s a video game that people mostly play on Facebook where you get a little patch of land that you get to / have to take care of. You tend the soil, raise crops, acquire animals. Your farm grows as you work at it and acquire points and fake money You can also pay real money for it to grow. It’s a silly game.

But Google is taking it seriously. They’ve apparently invested at least a hundred million dollars in Farmville’s parent company, Zynga, who also makes other similar games that are played online. Games like Frontierville and Mafia Wars.

Google is seen as getting ready to take on Facebook with a much more aggressive push into social media. The idea is for Zynga games to be at the heart of a new Google gaming site. We talk to Dean Takahashi from Games Beat who says he’s confirmed this story about Google’s investment. He fills us in on what Google is doing here.

We also talk to A.J. Patrick Liskiewicz. He’s in the process of completing an MFA in the Department of Media Study at SUNY Buffalo. He’s written about Farmville online and says that what’s really at the heart of Farmville’s popularity is a compulsion toward politeness.

Comments | Filed Under: google farmville zynga

Frontierville

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/10/10 11:00 AM

Zynga, creators of the insanely popular game Farmville, have rolled out a new way for you to throw your life away and just in time for summer when you should get outside and exercise. Frontierville is, says Zynga, a cross between the classic Oregon Trail video game, Little House on the Prairie, and Farmville. Interestingly, as popular as Farmville is, there is some statistical evidence to point to the game being on the decline a bit as people just run out of things they can do on it. It will be interesting to see what captured as much as 70 million players worldwide: was it Farmville specifically as a game or was it the kind of game it was?

Comments | Filed Under: farmville maybe you should get outside

Farmville is the cigarettes of gaming

 by John Moe // Posted: 06/08/10 11:44 AM

That’s what I tweeted yesterday on news that the TurboMegaGigantopopular game Farmville is coming to the iPhone. “We want to destroy the last shred of productivity Americans can manage and rip families apart,” the president of Farmville said but not really. Today, Larissa pointed out this article where Dr Dominic Micklewright, from the University of Essex compared the health of gamers to athletes.  The gamers have the reaction time of a fighter jet pilot, but the lung function of a 60-year old smoker.

Comments | Filed Under: farmville games iphone zynga

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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