FarmVille Neighbors Create Friendships & Enhance Gameplay: The Reason we all need great virtual neighbors

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One of the great things about playing FarmVille is the people you meet. Internet friends are fun, right? If you like playing social games such as FarmVille, you gotta get social and connect with others. This connecting may mean reaching out to strangers, especially when none of your real life Facebook friends are playing. It's the basics of FarmVille Farmer Problems 101. We all make the choice to add people we don't know or get left in the dirt and watch our neighbors with more neighbors soar past us. I've met some wonderful people from all over the world and all walks of life through playing FarmVille. Although some have turned out to be creepers, it is those who I can now call real friends that mean the most. Relationships that I now hold dear, created over the common interest of virtual farming.

Stranger Kindness

When you start playing a social game, you start meeting people and connecting with strangers, but it's highly unlikely that saving someone's life crosses your mind. I read a story this week about Lisa Miller who started playing that other farming game, FarmTown (Why couldn't it be FarmVille?!) and became friends with a woman whose daughter Tiffany needed a kidney transplant. Lisa then befriended Tiffany and also began her three-year search to help find her a donor, but she had no idea it would end with her very own husband. Turns out, Lisa's husband, Chris, was a perfect match for Tiffany and more than willing to donate one of his kidneys to her. Tiffany's surgery is scheduled for January. These are the words that make Hallmark movies. Seriously. This story beautifully illustrates the power of kindness, friendship, and the remarkable ability of connecting people through social games.

I haven't donated a kidney to anyone lately and nor has any of my FarmVille neighbors asked for one – but I think I still have amazing neighbors.

Having good neighbors makes the game that much more enjoyable and lately it's become difficult to play without the help of your most reliable farming friends. Sure, you can still plow plots and plant crops at your leisure, but if you are looking to complete your plethora of ongoing construction projects or finish up a quest without using Farm Cash, then you'll have to rely on the help of your virtual neighbors willing to lend a helping hand.

Won't you be my neighbor?

Early on, we saw that FarmVille was meant to be a social game. It's just not as fun playing along with your mom, aunt, and the handful of your Facebook friends that you suckered into accepting your game request. FarmVille is supposed to be played together with other faux farmers who are also willing to do the work and reap the rewards of a sturdy stockpile of Farm Coins and a showcase of treasures to proudly display on their FarmVille farms. Go ahead- make that FarmVille neighbor request. Add that no-strings attached community friend who isn't linked to your Facebook account. If you're really feeling frisky, add that FarmVille playing stranger because you just never know how awesome friends you may become. Remember the Hallmark story? Enough said.

There are plenty of places to look for neighbors. If you are in need of additional neighbors or new neighbors to replace your inactive ones here's a few places that you can turn to for help.

· FarmVille Official Forum

· FarmVille Freak Facebook Fan Page

· Right here on this post! Reach out to others looking for neighbors in the comments section.


Click-Happy

There's a lot going on in FarmVille these days. Although keeping up may be tiresome, it also means there's lots of freebies to take advantage of- something for everyone if you are willing to do the work and possibly a little begging to your friends.

The help requests from your FarmVille neighbors that can be seen on the Facebook News Feed are a great place to help your neighbors fulfill their voting requests, quest tasks, countdowns, and general items in need. A few clicks on your friends' FarmVille shares from the Facebook News Feed can make all the difference when it comes to getting things done in FarmVille. I always tell my FarmVille Freak readers-help a friend, help yourself.

By now, most players should know that there are personal incentives involved with helping your friends. Once you click on a friend's share, you will also receive the item for yourself. (This applies to most requests for help, but not all.) If you didn't already know this- you're welcome! Start helping your friends, and help yourself at the same time. Double bonus. I encourage you to get click-happy, add a new neighbor, and appreciate your FarmVille neighbors a little more.

Angela Morales created and manages FarmVille Freak, the largest FarmVille fan site, which provides news, tips and in-game updates for Zynga's Facebook farm game as it happens. She is also the co-author of FarmVille For Dummies book. Yes, it exists.
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