FarmVille behind bars: Inmates use smuggled phones to tend virtual crops

farmville behind bars
farmville behind bars

Just because you're locked up behind bars doesn't mean you need to abandon your virtual farm. According to this New York Times article, smuggled smartphones are starting to become a prison cliche, much like finding a homemade shiv hidden in a mattress. These contraband phones are being used for everything from directing criminal activities outside prison to ... playing FarmVille on Facebook.

"Almost everybody has a phone," said Mike, 33, an inmate at Smith State Prison in Georgia who, like other prisoners interviewed for this article, asked that his full name not be used for fear of retaliation. "Almost every phone is a smartphone. Almost everybody with a smartphone has a Facebook."

Even though the smartphones are banned from prison systems (if you're found in possession of one, it can lead to additional criminal charges or affect your parole) they still manage to make their way into inmate's hands. The NYT article says that In California last year, officers discovered around 9,000 contraband cell phones. Guards, visitors and inmates smuggle in the phones and monthly payments range from $300 to $1,000, which are generally paid by convict's relatives.

There was no percentage on just how many cons use their smartphones to play games on Facebook, but it looks like FarmVille-maker Zynga might have a burgeoning new fan base on its hands.