The Last Thing I Want to Do is Push This Button

Illustration for article titled The Last Thing I Want to Do is Push This Button

This week Zynga released its The Sims Social clone The Ville on Facebook. This morning I started up the game with the intention of doing some quick impressions. I logged into Facebook, got to the character creation screen...


...and I sat there for nearly ten minutes, my mouse hovering over "Save and Exit". I could not bring myself to press that button.

It's not Facebook; over the past couple of years I've learned to appreciate the ability to, at any given time, type in a URL and immediately be engaged in a simple gaming experience. I frequent at least half-a-dozen games at any given time, obsessively hopping in during rare moments of free time to spend a few arbitrary points on limited actions. I like it like that.

It's not Zynga. At least two of the FarmVille creators' are regularly in my rotation.

Is it The Ville itself, a shameless attempt to copy the success of EA's The Sims Social? I'm not above a good clone; hell, I'm currently engrossed in SimCity Social, a clone of Zynga's own CityVille, which in turn took inspiration from the SimCity series proper.

No, it was the experience itself. As I prepared to go deep into another energy-based social gaming experience I paused and reflected. Another cartoon character avatar. Another series of tasks doled out by colorful picture of people on the side of the screen. Another non-threatening instrumental piece, bubbling over with hopeful potential.


I guess I've just had my fill.

I let the music play for another hour before finally closing the window.

It's not you, The Ville. You could be the greatest game ever to grace Facebook.

I'm just not in any hurry to find out.


I know the feeling. I work with similar games and while all the metrics and behaviors are real and important, kinda wish we could make something more fun and engaging.