My neighbour Charlie wants Facebook banned. Turns out his wife first spent all her time talking to her plants at FarmVille - which meant cold take outs for dinner - and then tried watering them. Charlie has to buy a new laptop now. He is livid. I clucked my sympathies. Money didn't grow on trees after all, i offered.
"Money ?" says Charlie "It's not money , it's time. Shopping for a new laptop will eat into my Facebook time"
FarmVille is growing in spades. Sure , many don't dig it. They think it's a soil on their screens. Others bemoan the spawning of a generation of vegetables.As somebody put it , it's only food for nought. Irritation not irrigation is how somebody else summed it up. Mad Plough disease , another critic screamed. FarmVille has certainly produced fertile ground for such debates.
On the other side are the die hards merrily throwing sheep at those debates. Just harvest it , goes their POV , make hay while the power light shines. It may be a cash cow for the developers to milk , they say , but everybody gets their just desserts. After all , it's not everywhere that you can read what you sow.
FarmVille is out of the barn now and into the highest echelons of both government and business decision making. Up next are parliamentary debates on FarmVille subsidies and suicide cases in developing countries with acute power shortages which prevent people from accessing FV.
And a Silicon Valley start up is close to releasing a technology that enables users to convert power from their PC cables into water to irrigate their FarmVille acreage. The Venture Capital guys have already put the team pictures into their My Best Friends collage on Facebook.
All a bit too late in the day for Charlie of course...