17 July, 2010

Of penguins, cafés and mighty warriors

Café World is a massive time sink

Anyone who plays Café World already knows this, of course. Since we started playing it, I think I've watched the total sum of about two hours of television. And that's over eight weeks ago. Of course I wasn't watching a lot of television anyhow, but it was more than an hour a week. That's just one of the effects.
Businesses seem to want Facebook banned, and with somewhat good reason. The games that are
provided with Facebook are designed to get your face in front of the screen and hold it there for quite a while, with titles such as Farmville getting over sixteen million distinct users, or at least that's Zynga's claim. Café World isn't far behind, claiming over twelve million. All these games take time, energy and concentration to play, time that could well be spent actually doing the job instead of surfing the web. The good aspects of Facebook are unfortunately outweighed by the design of the games. And let's face it, if the games weren't great to play, they wouldn't have thirty million users just on two games alone.
Even the children have options these days, with online games such as Club Penguin keeping younger eyeballs on screens. This has the net effect of children pestering their parents for an online subscription so they can actually BUY stuff for their penguin and puffles (a creature you can buy in the game). Then there's miniclip.com, which also offers easy to run games that don't need anything much more than a browser and a relatively recent machine to play them. Of course, World Of Warcraft (WoW for short) seems to lead the world in numbers of people playing, and it's also subscription-based, though it's certainly not run from the browser. It has a DVD's worth of content that gets updated quite often, pushing the disk space requirements up even further.
I still don't know if I have to turn in my subscription to the DVD rental shop yet, I guess time will tell.