31 March 2010

Bulgarian Councilman Booted for Tending his Imaginary Farm

AOL News

Anyone who plays FarmVille knows it is critical to harvest your crops on time. But maybe it's not as important as administrating the second-largest city in Bulgaria.

Dimitar Kerin was voted off a committee assignment by the Plovdiv City Council for his inability to stop tending his virtual crops on the Facebook game during meetings.

Kerin was not alone in his obsession among council members. Council chairman Ilko Iliev had previously warned several of them that the new wireless network and laptops provided to all 51 council members were not to be used for playing games on social media sites during budget meetings. Kerin was singled out for continuing to manage his farm and milk his cows despite Iliev's warnings.

Saying that Kerin "needs more time for his virtual farm," council member Todor Hristov made the proposal to oust Kerin, according to Novinite, a news agency out of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Kerin was voted off his committee 20-19.
FarmVille is the most popular app on Facebook and winner of "Best Social Game" at the 2010 Game Developer Choice Awards. Games like it can be particularly addictive because of its real-time game mechanics. Crops are going to mature and even die whether or not players are logged in. If they want to maximize their yield, they better be ready to bring in their crops the second they're ready to harvest. Even if it's during a city council meeting.

The blog "Gameolosophy" has some advice for people like Kerin about managing their FarmVille obsession without going cold turkey:

"Prefer crops whose maturity takes three to four days to ripen to those that take only hours," blogger Sheila Europa writes. "This way, you won't have to keep your game window open, thus eliminating the need to be glued to the screen the whole time."

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