I signed up to play Cow Clicker before I read anything about it and before I had done any of the readings for this week. I do not play Facebook games; I find them rather annoying. I do not like it when my newsfeed is filled with things like “Suzie Q needs some paint for her barn!”
Needless to say, I thought Cow Clicker was the dumbest of the dumb. After reading Ian Bogost’s article about Cow Clicker, I discovered that my first impressions were correct – except for this game was actually designed to be the dumbest of the dumb as a satire. Interesting.
I agree with all of Bogost’s points. Especially the ones about compulsions and destroying time. I, like so many other Facebook users, do have a compulsion to check Twitter and Facebook multiple times an hour. Sometimes multiple times a minute, depending on my level of boredom. When I think about it, it kind of makes me sick how much of my time I spend (or, rather, waste) on social media. All for what gain? To know what my friend of a friend had for breakfast?
Because of the compulsion, time is destroyed. Facebook games, like Cow Clicker, run in real time. Because you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can do the next thing, you have to keep checking to see if your time is up. It’s really a brilliant concept, except for the fact that it’s potentially destroying the minds of a generation (that is, unless they wish to become farmers, with which there is nothing wrong).
I am questioning, however, Bogost’s goal. Yes, he pointed out annoying things about Facebook games. Yes, he created a satire game to further illustrate his point. But why? Does he plan to single-handedly take down the Zynga empire? I imagine that most people who read his article agree that Facebook games are dumb. I guess I just don’t understand his purpose in all his efforts.