Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jason Tanz

Mr. Tanz,

After reading your article, "The Curse of Cow Clicker",  I found myself relating to what Bogust was saying about his outlook on the game, but I also understood exactly what player's of the game were experiencing. Embarrassingly enough, I found myself playing Farmville when it first came out, and was the top player of all my friends..something I thought was cool at the time. After Bogust explained the point of Farmville and the purpose of it, it really made me realize how much time I devoted to that game, and in reality was gaining nothing from it, except different graphics when I clicked on things such as crops.

You talk about the game of Cow Clicker and how basically anyone has the capacity to understand it. You state, "The game may have been dumb and even mean. But it was also, for some reason that resisted easy explanation, kind of appealing". I think the fact that Farmville was so easy it appealed to others, it doesn't take skill, but time. And time is exactly what developers want from a consumer, because as people play the company generates more and more revenue from it. I think the fact that both Cow Clicker and Farmville are such a basic game that people are prone to play it and convince their friends to play it as well. Facebook has done a marvelous job with advertising, and every time a post lands on other's news feeds there is a high chance that they are going to click on it.

There is another point that you brought up about Bogust critiquing Zynga in saying, the company's games were "like behaviorist experiments with rats" and calling them "the Wall Street hedge-fund guys of games". I think the fact that Bogust see's, well..the bogus in these games means that he is not just trying to make money and follow the lead of Wall Street workers. I think that Bill Mooney, vice president of Zynga is trying to perceive himself as brilliant for this game, but in reality he is just creating a game that involves no skill level. After over a month of playing Farmville I realized that things will always be changing in the game and thats why people stay, but if things are always changing in the game there is no way to conquer it, and that's exactly what these companies like Zynga want. If a game never ends, then the gamers is only playing more and more, as frequently as possible, to keep up and try and stay in the lead. It took me a two months to realize that with the game, but some people may never realize that and will even begin investing money into it to stay on top.

For most Vice President's and CEO's it's all about money and I think when it comes to Bogust he is realistic and see's the way's people may become obsessed with a game that in reality holds no purpose and no way to conquer it.


Nicole Lengyel

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