Facebook really sucks :P

Facebook games introduced the concept of “pay-to-cheat”. There is a twist: if you’re insanely popular and get zillions of friends to play the same game with you, as part of your “team”, you can cheat without paying. If you’re socially impaired (which in Facebook terms means that you don’t add every other person popping up on your page), you only have the option to pay to “power up” your own gaming experience.

As a novel concept, I think it’s actually very interesting. I don’t like it, but I recognise the appeal of that business model. After all, as an old-time Second Life user, doesn’t SL work in a similar way…? If you’re good at creating content, you can buy other people’s content with the money you earn. If not, you can exchange US$ for L$ and buy content as well. So it’s similar, with the difference that Facebook games don’t really require any skill, talent, or creative abilities, just the “skill” to bring over as many friends as you can.

My current problem with those games is, in my opinion, that the game designers behind them are really limited. Most games are appealing at the earlier stages; but after a while, it’s just the same old grind. More levels, more items, more things you can add, but it’s always the same mechanism, always the same environment, always the same things to do, over and over again. When you’re at Level 108 on Sorority Life, what is the “novelty” then? Sure, you can do more things, have lots of more outfits, and Playdom cleverly designs new “settings” every three months or so to keep people interested in the game, but that’s all there is: the new settings have slight variations on the overall concept, but not much.

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