« Comics - 1 | Green Arrow | Main | Gestalt Theory. Design. Computer Science. Games. »

August 12, 2010


screen capture of email message from Zynga awarding me a daily fuel boost

I mentioned last week in our game salon that I feel farmed out. I have been playing seven different farm themed games on the iPad and in Facebook.

I also mentioned -- this week -- that every coffee plot in my Farmville game was harvested by hand. I didn’t make use of the virtual machinery that would speed up my farming. Mechanized harvesting is an offense against Juan Valdez, an aesthetic I hold dear. This brought on amused comments of “cyber-Thoreau” and “crazy luddite”.

The social aspect of these farm games, cow-clickers as Ian Bogost calls them, reminds me very much of cross-stitching or embroidery. I make great effort to create pleasing visual patterns. I’m encouraged to do so by prompts in the game and in the chrome -- the interface, so that others might find my farm attractive, and visit more often. This is a layer in addition to the mutual obligation relationship of the gift-economies (written about in great detail by "Afeeld").

I have envisioned a conceptual and actual performance work, where I play -- Farmville specifically -- as many different characters with the surname “Campesino”. The Campesino extended family would have the given names “Primero,” “Segundo,” “Tercero,” etc.... There could be geographically specific cousins with surnames like “Paisa,” “Opita,” or “Guajiro”. These Campesinos would work my farm in Farmville, “by hand”, and I would level up. They would each have a small, basic plot “neighboring” mine.

Earlier coverage by Bruce Sterling and "Afeeld"

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at August 12, 2010 09:18 AM