I won't go as far as to call the online game Farmville 'evil', but I will say that it is one heck of an addictive piece of social gaming software.

I won't call it evil because I don't believe that you can judge any computer software or program by any human character traits; of course those that design a program can be very naughty indeed. I have felt a Farmville addiction withinme just as I am sure many others have felt it at one time or another. My urge to play the game is something that I have tried to keep as quiet about as I can - I try not to let my activities on my digital Farm affect my Facebook friends: I make sure not to clutter their homepages with reports of my almost pedestrian exploits. I also try not to let my Wife know too much of when I am on there playing, since she is most disaproving of my time spent tending my crops. I even go as far as to make sure that all sounds of the game are regularly muted as to reduce her awareness of my activities. No, my loving Wife is not at all a fan of this particular Facebook phenomenon.

My real problem here is not with the game mechanics itself - I have actually left the game more than once because the basics of the game don't hold enough of an attraction for me on their own anymore. Instead it is the occasional introduction of a new twist to the gameplay of Farmville that has brought me back in or a personal revelation of some new snazzy Farmville cheats or tricks of some kind that I can use to make the game easier for me that hase brought me back to play some more. There is a much used quote from that Godfather movie that I could use to describe my feelings on the situation but I won't because said quote has been so very much overused before.

It is a real testament to the game itself that despite its obvious technical frustrations and ongoing apparent lack of stability during gameplay, its fan base has not deserted it in droves in favour of some other social application. Seriously, how long can any application continue to label itself as as being in an ongoing 'beta' mode after what, one year? Two years? Well, Farmville does and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. That in itself is enough for me to give Farmville the tag of being 'almost evil'. Throw in the fact that there have been days (and sadly, I admit there has been more than a few - oh, the shame!) when I have found myself motivated to log into Facebook more for playing Farmville than for any other potential opportunities for social interaction. That right there has got to be the clincher. Hmmm, okay. I might have to rethink that 'almost' part... ...or maybe I really just need to re-evaluate my prioroties when it comes to online social interaction. *sigh*

On the other hand, I am an avid comicbook collector, so perhaps that is where my salvation lies: to use Facebook as a means of finding other comic-related distractions to fill my time instead of being consumed by the Farmville virus. If this is the answer then there is a kind of appropriate symmetry in embracfing Facebook as a solution to a problem that it has been the host to all this time.