Quote of the Moment: 'Zynga's games aren't really games at all--they're jobs'

FarmVille American GothicSomething about FarmVille makes people evoke the American Dream -- the idea that regardless of who you are or where you come from, anything is possible through honest, hard work. Moreover, the idyllic American farm still occupies a reverent place in the popular imagination. One of those people for whom this is true is David Thier, a writer who can't seem to go a year without making some grand and ponderous observation about FarmVille's relevance to America.

Thier's obsession with FarmVille's appeal started in 2009, which is the same year Zynga released the game. When a guy's been waxing poetic over one thing for as long as he has, sometimes a breakthrough does occur, and his piece in the New York Magazine yesterday, may have been it:

Zynga's games aren't really games at all--they're jobs. Easy, straightforward, consistently rewarding jobs, where toil translates directly to upward mobility, without the uncertainty that comes with today's real workplaces. You put in the time knowing it will be worth it and spend your hard-earned returns without fear of getting caught short by a double dip. FarmVille, the release that fueled Zynga's rise, came out in the summer of 2009, when a lot of Americans were finding the reward for their diligent labor was a severance notice and a mortgage default. Its timing was felicitous.

In other words, while the rest of the world has been turned upside down due to this recession, at least in FarmVille, progress through hard work persists. We know what the goals and rewards are, and the longer and harder you play, the more you have to show for it. In a way, games are the great equalizer, because everyone has to start at Level 1. And with enough effort (and sometimes skill), leveling up is guaranteed.

As a player, do you feel that FarmVille rewards your hard work? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment
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