I might have stopped watching a bit of telly since my move but with these nights drawing in I seem to be getting fanatical about Farmville on Facebook.
Never heard of it... stay away if you have an obsessive nature - it becomes addictive and you fear losing your crops if you do not, on a daily basis, check on them. This is how they have you by the short and curlys and guarantee repeat game playing! Simple really.
Its pluses as an online game include not worrying about winning or losing, or the game running out of time. The aim is also simple. You strive to reach the next level; which you attain by gaining XP (experience). The more you sow, reap, help others the more XP and money you gain. Every level enables you to buy a wider variety of crops and decorations for your farm.
As well as buying seeds, planting them and generally looking after the crop rotation you can buy animals, trees, buildings and various decorations such as hay bales, wooden seats, wheelbarrows etc to spice up your farm. The animals & trees enable you to gain money from their produce, buildings and decorations just make your farm more interesting, although building\adding them can add to your XP.
Seasonal decorations are offered for a limited time only, Halloween brought lanterns and scary trees. Autumn had heaps of leaves on offer, maple trees & a harvest table, what on earth will Christmas bring? I can't wait.
The game uses the social side of Facebook by encouraging you to acquire neighbours. Having lots of neighbours is beneficial, not only can you earn money and XP (by visiting and helping on neighbouring farms), but with eight or more neighbours, you can expand and own more land. Gifts (such as trees and animals) can also be handed out to your neighbours - who shamelessly request them.
It's fun to look at your friends' farms too and psychologically analyse them; are they anally retentive (like mine) and have everything neatly in order, pigs and hens in pens, house with garden etc or more chaotic; large, flashy and haphazard with plots of land everywhere & anywhere, animals roaming free and trees plonked into position?
Nearly every day I say to myself I'm going to ignore my virtual farm, but my poor crops will fail and all my neighbours will notice - its become a bit of a chore really but I somehow have to find the time to do it!