Sunday, December 06, 2009

Lessons learned from FarmVille

FarmVille is an addictive little simulation game by Zynga, offered through Facebook. As the Farmer in Charge, you plow, plant and harvest your fields. Make a decent living, and all sorts of goodies are unlocked.

It may seem like a typical sim game, but there are valuable life lessons to be learned, if you pay attention.

1. I love it when a plan comes together.

Do you want to level up quickly? Would you like to earn as much coin as possible and buy cute houses, barns and decorations? Is your heart set on having a pretty, peaceful farm, or a full, bustling one? No matter what your goal, or combination of goals, it pays to have a plan to get there.

Know where you are going and how you are going to get there.

2. You have to pay to play.

Plowing and purchasing seed each have a cost; crops take varying lengths of time to mature. Making the effort to determine which crop is most profitable, as well as weighing in the value of your time will help you decide exactly what to plant to move most efficiently toward your goals. What measure you use for profitability is up to you.

Weigh the costs carefully; don’t overextend yourself.

3. I get by with a little help from my friends.

Adding neighbors around your farm provides opportunities for bonuses, gifts, extra experience points and much more. If you have enough neighbors, you may expand your farm for free, rather than using valuable Farm cash or coin. Neighbors can send you gifts, which are often things not available for purchase at the Market.

We all need somebody.

4. You need to give to get.

While neighbors can provide many benefits to you, much as in real life being neighbors is a two way street. If you do nothing but reap your friends’ bonuses, take their gifts and expect them to fertilize your crops solely out of the goodness of their hearts, you will soon find yourself friendless. Take the time, make the effort to return the favor – share your good fortune, fertilize fields, send gifts daily and pass on the stray animals that show up from time to time.

Friendship is a mutual proposition.

5. All good things must come to an end.

Just like real life farming, maintaining your virtual farm takes time and effort. Once your initial goals are achieved, you have a decision to make: set new goals and continue, or hang up your overalls.

Have an exit strategy.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a field to harvest.

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