Lunchtime Poll: Are third-party companion apps cheating?

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Bonus Checker Cheating
Well, it depends on who you ask, really. Since Facebook games have surged in popularity, small-time developers have created several applications that, when used in conjunction with popular social games like FrontierVille and Mafia Wars, simplify certain aspects of said games. Take the infamous Bonus Checker, for instance. This app (at nearly 180,000 monthly users), which supports dozens of Facebook games but is most commonly known for use with FrontierVille, aggregates all of the bonuses that appear in your News Feed from friends. It then provides a quick link to reap the rewards, which eliminates plenty of time perusing through hours worth of bonus posts. But is that cheating?

One crowd seems to believe that applications like this oversimplify the game and give players who make use of them an unfair advantage over those who don't. Not to mention that many think these apps drain a primary social element from social games. The other group appears to feel that these applications only make the game easier for everyone to enjoy and that, because they're open to everyone, we all should use them liberally. Of course, some players won't care either way and continue their normal modes of play. But we want to hear your thoughts in the issue, which makes this the perfect opportunity for a lunchtime poll:



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