The FarmVille Scourge

I can’t say I have ever played FarmVille, an extremely popular—and addictive—online farming game. And that’s probably a good thing.

As the New York Times reported yesterday:

“It is clear this obsession with FarmVille is an issue, especially since it is taking away time from studying and schoolwork,” Danielle Susi wrote this month in The Quad News, a student newspaper at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

Adults, too, are blaming their problems on FarmVille, an online game in which people must tend their virtual farms carefully. On blogs like FarmVille Freak (slogan: “I can’t stop watching my crops!”) and others, people share tips on fertilizer and complain about, for example, a spouse’s addiction. An anonymous blogger who said she was pregnant wrote: “I was starving … and he told me I’d have to wait a few more minutes so he could HARVEST HIS RASPBERRIES! I waited … in the car and waited for his stupid raspberries to be harvested.”

Dangerous stuff, this game. And my favorite part? The Times notes that “FarmVille players outnumber actual farmers in the United States by more than 60 to 1.”

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.