David Thier delivered the most grandiose proclamation ever seen for a social game in The Atlantic today, writing that "Farmville is a savage metaphor for the death of the small family farm to the grinding wheels of mechanized capitalism." And you know it's not just big talk, since Thier spent over a year to reach this shining truth, having realized the parallels from writing an earlier piece, The Strange Appeal of Virtual Farming:
When you log into the game, Farmville shows you a random picture of one idyllic farm or another--a bountiful field of pineapples, flowers, and wheat next to a little cottage, maybe, or perhaps an autumn scene of maple syrup and bright red trees. The reality, however, is that in order to afford such decorations you must either pay US dollars or plant endless fields of cash crops. Maybe I'm thinking about this too much, but for a simplistic videogame, Farmville offers a curious model for juxtaposing pastoral fantasy with the industrial realities of modern farming. The parallel isn't perfect: I'm pretty sure an alien cow on a real farm would fetch way more than 120 coins.