At long last, I reached level 20. Now, I could participate in a co-op. These worked like special orders, where two or more FarmVille players raised certain crops in order to meet a quota in a given time. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were one early co-op job. I raised the strawberries, my mother the peanuts, and other mafioso.. er... "friends" handled the wheat for the bread. Like a well oiled machine, we raised the proper ingredients in plenty of time, and scored coins and valuable fuel for our efforts
Now that my goal had been reached, my interest in the game waned drastically. Sure, there were more and bigger things to work towards, but I had had enough. I saw the signs, and knew the writing was on the wall. The newness had worn off, and my Xbox 360 and PS3 beckoned me back. I let my crops wither, dug them up, and left the ground a muddy mess. My cows were not milked, and my sheep were not shorn. The constant stream of FarmVille requests didn't stop, though I just ignored them.
I was really quite shocked at the quality of FarmVille. I felt many of the same urges that kept me playing World of Warcraft and other similar games for so long. The social elements, the desire to keep up with the rest of your group, and the feeling of ownership were very powerful. It really does scratch the same itch, as preposterous as that may sound to a hardcore gamer. FarmVille is my mother's MMO, and there is nothing wrong with that. She has her shovels and tractors, and I have my swords and spellbooks. I might need to find a scroll of water breathing, though; I haven't logged in to FarmVille for months, and I suspect I might get tossed off a pier wearing concrete shoes sometime in the near future.