One New Notification
Social games – love them or hate them they are a pretty big deal. Companies are earning millions of dollars making you look after little farms or guiding planes around the world. I have found myself recently addicted to Pocket Planes, which I mentioned in my Indie Jar write-up, and I am so invested in the game that I have actually spent real-world money in order to help me purchase planes a bit quicker than you would if you just waited. I should also add Pocket Planes is a game that I play on my iPhone, and the great thing about this is that I can play it wherever I am; got a couple of minutes to kill at work or at home? Out comes Pocket Planes. But you see, the rise of the social game started with Facebook. I was a big user of the social site back in the day; uploading drunk pictures of myself, posting really emo status’ that included song lyrics… but over time I have grown to hate Facebook and one of the main reasons for this is the rise of the site as a gaming platform.
I mainly use Facebook just to pass the time on my phone, similar to how I play the odd game on it here and there, but for the past few years I have found my notification alert full to the brim with “this person asks you to feed her cat in Sims Social”, “Roger wants you to join him in Farmville”, “come and build a pie factory in SimCity Social”. This infuriates me – like I said previously I quite enjoy the odd social game but I have realised that I only like it if it’s available on a handheld device. Unless it’s for work purposes I will never in my life play another game on Facebook, and here’s the main reason; you have to be at your PC/Mac and physically on Facebook in a browser to play it.
Some of these games might actually be pretty good. I got hooked on Civilisation, and tried out Sims Social when they were both first released, but the problem with both of those games is that I was far too conscious of my friends list on Facebook. I made sure that I didn’t spam them with requests to come over to my place or to help me plant some seeds in my garden. Now, why can’t everyone be like me? Seriously, fuck off with your requests to join you, I really and truly don’t want to know.
It’s at this point that I will probably get labelled a hypocrite considering on Twitter recently I asked for people to join the Flight Crew that I am a member of in Pocket Planes. To those people who will say I’m a hypocrite… well, screw you. The good thing about Twitter is that people could skim over my request if they saw it and don’t have to do anything to remove it, because in a few minutes the message will more than likely be replaced with another twenty-five tweets talking about other more important and interesting things (like what people had for dinner and how shitty their life is, or how little they have slept). I’m not saying that Facebook games are awful; I’m sure some of them are pretty good and I would actually get enjoyment out of a few, but I don’t want to have to be on Facebook to play them.
Yes I know I can turn off the annoying notifications but that’s hassle to do that – there is no one-click way of doing it (and if there is, for the love of the great Sky Wizard please tell me). Feel free to enjoy your Facebook games but please, please don’t annoy the living hell out of me by sending me invites that will give you a little perk – share with people who are actually playing the game. It will benefit you in two ways: 1. That person is more than likely to respond, helping you both out with some new rose bushes to plant in your garden, and 2. When I meet you in real life I won’t have to take you down and put you in a figure four leg lock until you scream.