My Fish Tanks Are Empty and my Pet Is Abandoned

Like many people, I managed to get hooked into some games on Facebook.  You know the kind.  Cheesy flash games that mostly have no point, purpose, or conclusion.  Their goal is to get you to play as many hours as possible, and eventually to get you to spend real money on the game.  Or in other words, they’re a time-sink and a money waster.

The games that I took to are Zynga games.  They’re pretty polished.  When I first started playing them they really weren’t that bad.  Lately, though, they’re chock full of pop-ups demanding that you ‘share! share! share!’ everything you do.  Not to mention the ‘Become a Fan!’ and ‘Add More Friends!’ pop-ups.  There are so many of these pop-ups that the slight entertainment value is rapidly disappearing.  If you open one of their games and then let it sit for a few minutes, you might come back to a stack of half a dozen pop-ups wanting you to publish things to your Newsfeed or add friends.

Now, in addition to their demands to share nearly every action you perform in the game and they’re incessant demand that you ruthlessly hound your friends into jumping on the bandwagon, they’re trying to get my e-mail address.  Facebook is going to make some change to the way application notifications are handled sometime in the near future.  That’s fine with me.  What’s not fine with me is giving my e-mail address to Zynga.  I still consider my e-mail address to be a pretty private thing.  I have a personal e-mail address, an e-mail address that I tend to use for comment forms, and an e-mail address I use as a contact e-mail for my blog.  They all serve their purposes and have varying degrees of exposure.  The e-mail address I use for Facebook is my personal e-mail address, because these are my personal connections.  I’m not going to allow some Facebook flash game developer to have access to it.  Especially when they have a track record of spamming.

Zynga’s applications, and other players, generate quite a bit of ‘noise’ already in notifications, requests, and my newsfeed.  Why would I want even more ‘noise’ in my e-mail inbox?  As a cheap incentive, most of Zynga’s games are offering special items or bonuses for giving up your e-mail address.  I think my time and privacy is worth more than a special fish or a few extra game coins.  I’ll be keeping my e-mail address to myself Zynga.  Thanks, but no thanks.

In addition to all the noise Zynga games create, they’re big time-sinks.  I realized that I have to give up some of these games if I want to be able to do other things I enjoy, like reading the news, studying, exercising, eating, etc.

So, to that end, I’m putting FishVille and PetVille on the chopping block.  I’ll also be cutting back on the amount of space I use to ‘grow’ crops in FarmVille and the amount of time I invest into it as well.  There are more important things in life than fake fish, a fake pet (I already have two real ones that are a handful), and fake crops.

Hey FishVille! So long, and thanks for all the fish!  In memory of my fish tanks, some screenshots:

The only one that really has me hooked is Cafe World.  I’ve always been a sucker for cooking in games. I even had maxed cooking skill in Final Fantasy XI.  What I like about Cafe World is that it’s possible to get by without having to spend real cash.  What I don’t like about it is the number of pop-ups.  ‘Become a Fan’ it says, when I already am.  ‘Add More Friends’ it demands, when all the friends that want to play the damn thing already are.  It’s going to wear out its welcome soon too, if that keeps up.

Keep pushing the limit Zynga.  If I can quit playing World of Warcraft, don’t think I can’t give you up.

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