[Market-farming] FarmVille

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at illinois.edu
Fri Oct 30 09:50:10 EDT 2009

I just received this from a colleague at Cornell Univ. Anyone familiar with FarmVille? Sounds like people love farming,...as long as they don't have to do it! See article below.....


One often hears concern that people don't know where their food comes from. It turns out that the hottest online game fad right now is farming. There is obviously interest and appreciation.

These fads come and go fairy quickly is there a way to take advantage of this one for the benefit of real vegetable farming?

New York Times, October 28, 2009
To Harvest Squash, Click Here

"FarmVille has quickly become the most popular application in the history of Facebook. More than 62 million people have signed up to play the game since it made its debut in June, with 22 million logging on at least once a day.

FarmVille isn't the only popular farm-theme game on Facebook. MyFarm and FarmTown, which are made by different companies, also have huge followings. Some academics have gone so far as to suggest that their collective popularity points to a widespread yearning for the pastoral life.

"The whole concept of 'I'm sick of this modern, urban lifestyle, I wish I could just grow plants and vegetables and watch them grow,' there is something very therapeutic about that," said Philip Tan, director of the Singapore-M.I.T. Gambit Game Lab, a joint venture between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the government of Singapore to develop digital games.

Of course, real-life farming is quite a bit messier and more dangerous than FarmVille (perhaps just one reason that FarmVille players outnumber actual farmers in the United States by more than 60 to 1). Yet some of the game's biggest fans are farmers.
William H Shoemaker, UI-Crop Sciences
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
535 Randall Road  St Charles, IL  60174
630-584-7254; FAX-584-4610

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