Social Game Fads: Harassing friends to send materials

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Soc
ial Game Fads is a new series where we take a look at some of the unoriginal game mechanics that are being reused over and over again in our favorite Facebook games. Are you getting bored of the same ole' thing? We are too, and we're exposing some of the copycats who are to blame.

While Zynga aren't exactly known for being the most creative and morally righteous game developers in the world, they definitely do a few things right. This is evidenced by the number of other games who copy what they have done, and the number of times Zynga reuses their own inventions. One prime example of this is in the buildables that require parts from friends. Originally seen in FarmVille, these are objects that require materials that can either be bought with hard currency or received from friends.

In most games, an object is the finished result such as the Treasure Isle gem mines and relics. In other games, such as PetVille, the materials are used to build something that gives you access to a new area, such as the backyard. In some games, the buildable pieces create an object that acts as a major functionality upgrade, such as the Super Stoves in Cafe World or the Coffee Machines in Baking Life. These buildable objects completely flood the Facebook news feeds because everyone is trying to get friends to help them build their objects.

Almost every successful game in the top 20 Facebook games has an object or a feature that is gated by the collection of materials from friends. We hope this is a fad that dies quick, because we're tired of begging for materials from our friends.

Do you like building things with help from your friends? Or are you sick of spamming? Post in the comments below and let us know!
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