Farmville has Gone to the DogsPublished April 13, 2010
Ok . . . I am overjoyed. Puppies finally arrived at Farmville. It is about time! But I am not "addicted"! A little personal history: Years ago, when I was first invited to join Facebook, one of the most popular social networking internet websites online, I accepted the request as I was somewhat curious about what many of my friends were talking about. To be brutally honest, I was disappointed and could not understand why so many folks were raving about this program. It seemed extremely dull and boring to me, so the icon remained unused, sitting on my desktop gathering cyber-dust for ages. In my spare-time I was far too busy answering cat and horse related questions on a prominent question and answer internet network, so had little time for "socializing." However, one of my online buddies also involved in answering questions about cats, invited me to join her on Farmville, a virtual farming game about which she was very enthusiastic. While I had declined several other offers, for some still unknown reason, I naively agreed to participate in order to help her by becoming her "friend" and farm "neighbor." And then slowly but surely my addiction to the game started taking on a life of its own. Developed by Zygna, this real time free farm simulation is available to Facebook users. Players can manage a virtual farm, planting crops, harvesting, tending to their animals and helping their neighbors with a wide variety of chores. Presently there are approximately 63,370,436 folks playing the game around the world. In the Farm store, folks can purchase seeds, animals, buildings, vehicles, decorations and trees and expand their farms using the coins which is the generic currency paid to gamers for selling crops, tending their neighbors, and gathering eggs, milking cows, harvesting horsehair, and brushing their animals. At each new level which farmers attain, a farm "dollar" is awarded which can be used to "purchase" special items that require "cash". Farmers may additionally purchase "farm dollars" for real money in order to buy some pretty interesting products. It is also essential to recruit as many neighbors as possible for farm expansion. Naturally, getting to "know" neighbors fosters social networking in a delightful manner. As an avid animal lover, initially what appealed to me most about the game were all the critters we could "purchase" for farm dollars or "coins." These are earned by working our own farms and tending our neighbors. Shortly after I started playing, kittens for "adoption" started appearing on the scene, along with pink and green cows and ugly ducklings. Of course I have a huge assortment cats roaming my farm, ranging from silver and orange tabbies to solid black and white kitties, and I brush all of them daily. I have a barn full of horses, a high-production chicken coop and three active dairy barns. But where were the dogs? Dogs and farms go together like Romeo and Juliet. So for all you canine connoisseurs who may be curious about the game, available now are adorable virtual Border Collie, Golden Retriever and Sheepdog puppies who will follow you around during your daily farming chores. Their tails wag in ecstasy as they accompany farmers on their rounds. I hear rumors that puppies bought for farm cash rather than coins, when mature will assist farmers tend their livestock. I must look into that option one day when I can afford the purchase price. Check out Petside.com's own fabulous Facebook page which contains not only exciting information, games and contests, but it is a fabulous social networking opportunity for pet lovers to "meet." Visit us at: www.facebook.com/petside. Do virtual animal -related games appeal to you? Leave a comment and let us know.