Pat James’ wife Tracy confessed this morning…she’s a FarmVille addict!
By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
Life on FarmVille has had a transformative effect on Laura Phillips.
For 45 minutes a day, Phillips, a 41-year-old marketing contractor in the Silicon Valley town of Morgan Hill, Calif., gets lost in the digital game on Facebook, managing crops and animals on her virtual farm.
“This is my escape from city life; it’s my relaxation,” she says. “Since Day One, I’ve been a complete addict. I lose sleep at night, worrying about my farm.”
Phillips is one of more than 56 million monthly users of the game created by Zynga, a company that specializes in social games for platforms including Facebook, MySpace, iPhone and Bebo. FarmVille had just 354 users on June 20, the day after it launched. It’s widely believed to be the largest and fastest-growing social game ever.
FarmVille’s addictive qualities tend to sneak up on the casual interloper. Then again, so has its entire genre: Games are the killer app on social networks. Tens of millions of consumers are opting to play simple, quick games on Facebook, MySpace and elsewhere – often via their mobile devices. An estimated 100 million people are recent devotees of social games such as FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Sorority Life and Bejeweled.
The gamers, many of whom eschewed traditional video-game consoles, have spurred revenue for Facebook. The 5-year-old social-networking site recently announced it was operating in the black – a major feat in an industry beset by doubts about its ability to be profitable.
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