Friday, November 27, 2009

Grow your own


Several people I know, along with myself have "a bit of land"...
This land is virtual farmland, and is part of a game called FARMVILLE, which operates on Facebook as an application. There was a good article in the New York Times sampler which appears in "The Observer" a few weeks ago, which included a description of someone who set their alarm for 1.30am so they could get up and harvest their crops, and then go back to sleep.This blog post describes it as possibly "the most popular game in the world".There is a collaborative element to the game, by placing farms belonging to Facebook friends as your neighbours, the amount of money and 'experience points' that can be earned increases. The game has also been successful in raising almost $ 500 000 for charities working in Haiti, when players spend real money to purchase virtual items to personalise their farms, or buy additional land. An article by Jack Arnott on "boredom as a cash crop" provides more detail on the money-raising aspect of the site. This is something that is even more lucrative with some of the multi-player online games, where the virtual worlds have a GDP apparently equivalent to some small nations in the 'real world'
Any thoughts on the possible use of Farmville as a learning resource for geography students ?
Farmville currently has a nice 'autumnal look' to it...
Anyway, I have to go: got to scare the rooks off a neighbours farm...

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