Asia's social gaming scene a world away from America's

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Games like China's Happy Farm and America's Farmville might look similar on the surface, only one of these games once let you steal your friends crops in the middle of the night. Hint: it wasn't Farmville.

This is just one of the many cultural differences found in intercontinental social gaming, as pointed out by Popcap's Senior Director of Business Development for Asia Giordano Contestabile in an excellent post over at Gamezebo today. Apparently, China's social games tend to focus more on cutthroat competition and embarrassing your friends, to better attract the country's player base of primarily young males raised on hardcore massively multiplayer games. This means players of social games in China can routinely bomb their friends' hospitals or sell their friends in an S&M dungeon. The competitive aspects got so bad that the Chinese government had to step in to urge developers to create more "harmonious" games, according to the piece.

It's like they're a whole 'nother country or something!
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