Jeremy Cheong's Blog
Jeremy Cheong male Senior Tech Writer
Self-professed poster child of Toys R' Us. Loves collecting Star Wars and Transformers action figures and DC Superheroes figurines. Other than gawking over the latest gadgets, gizmos and hardware, he also loves spending long hours playing video games. When not gaming or testing new products, you can find him reading comics, headbanging to ol' school and nu school Rock and Metal music or drooling over American muscle cars.
Yes, I will admit it. There was a point in my life where I was addicted to Facebook games. It may seem and sound funny now, but what was even more hilarious was how my brother, who is twice my size and an avid PC gamer, got addicted to Facebook games such as Farmville, Farm Town and so on. But that's a story for another day. I’m here to talk about how you can still play your favorite Facebook games without compromising productivity and social life.
As for me, I was hooked on a bunch of games. My first foray into this addictive world of constant clicking was with Facebook's original text-based RPGs such as Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, which then let me to the more ‘cutesy’ Farmville, Cityville, and most recently, Car Town.
It always starts with an invite and the next thing you know, you're sitting in front of the PC clicking the hours away and waiting for your health, stamina and whatnot to replenish. You miss dinners, dates and family gatherings. The more extreme and absurd (as we've seen in the news) goes on to neglect children and even so far as killing friends for something that happened in a game.
Like most games, Facebook games draw us in with brightly colored graphics and activities that you really don't have time to do in real life. And for some, it may even help fulfill a dream. Like my recent addiction, Car Town, it was addictive to me as not only did I get to own a workshop but also exotic supercars. And I'd get to race against friends too. If I'm really lucky, I might just win their car in a ‘pink slip’ race. It is definitely fun as you're playing a free game, which loads up in a few seconds and lets you connect with friends all over the world.
But if you find yourself wasting your life and time away just clicking and harvesting carrots, maybe it’s time you start rethinking how you play these games. For instance, instead of doing jobs or growing plants that are ready in 30 minutes, start a job that takes much longer, say 72 hours, so every time you access the game, you really won't have anything to do. With this, you'll probably move on to something more productive or even more social (i.e. hanging out with friends).
At the end of the day, I'm not trying to say that you can't play these games, but there really should be a limit to it. And if you're one of those who spend tons of real, hard-earned cash to purchase virtual money just so you can buy that nice virtual statue for your restaurant, then it really is time for you to stop. Deleting the game entirely and ignoring notifications would probably be a smart move as well, as it stops you from obsessing over updates on how many strawberries your friend has harvested or free gift he/she wants.
Game addiction, regardless whether it’s on Facebook or on a console or smartphone, is always a bad thing, so you really have to regulate yourself and don't take things seriously in games because you never know, you might just be staring down a barrel of a gun or the sharp edge of a knife.