Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Facebook attracts all sorts of followers. Some are more avid than others, but the group that gathered at Triple R Grill & Bar Monday, June 13, were unique. These ladies Ð and a few men Ð came together to meet face-to-face instead of chatting via a computer.
These are avid FarmVille players.
For you who don't know what FarmVille is, let me explain a bit. FarmVille is a game that can be played on Facebook. It's a real-time farm simulation game in which the "farmer" manages a virtual farm by raising virtual livestock and planting, growing and harvesting virtual crops. The user can build and maintain his or her own farm and talk and give gifts to other "farmers." Currently there are 250 million monthly users of FarmVille, which has now gone international.
The gathering in Kimball Monday was to celebrate the second anniversary of FarmVille and also a chance for some of these "farmers" to meet each other in-person, many for the first time.
This group was from all over Minnesota and even from out of state. Inga McCarter from
St. Maries, Idaho, had travelled the furthest for the gathering. She was coming to visit her parents who live in Minnesota and decided to let some of her new friends know she was coming. The plans began to form and, two months later, she was sitting in Triple R meeting all these women for the first time.
Inga's parents knew Barb Parks (who lives in Park Rapids), one of the other women at the gathering, and that's how Inga met the others of the group. Barb's daughter Sandy Ophus, and her neighbor Sheryl Mose, drove up from Hutchinson. Jannell Horton of Kimball was there, and a few others arrived late.
Jannell, Sandy and Barb all blame Triple R owner Deb Reinert for getting them hooked on the game. While Sandy was out after back surgery, Deb suggested that she play the game to pass the time. A year and a half later Sandy is still playing the game. Jannell used to work for Deb and eventually she gave in to Deb's advice to play the game, and the rest has been history.
"It's all been Deb's fault" said a smiling Jannell when asked who was to blame for the interest in FarmVille.
These women have been able to gather friends from all over Minnesota and the world. Within the group that met at Triple R there were men and women from Hutchinson, Ramsey, Kimball, Annandale, Elk River and Pipestone.
But that's not the only connection that has been made. These women also have made friends with people from other countries. They all have at least one international friend, most being from Canada, but also from Sweden, Australia, England, Afghanistan, India and Mexico. This game has definitely created some friendships, and the group hopes that eventually they can have one of their foreign friends join them for their gatherings that they hope to make annual events.
"There are more farmers on FarmVille than there is in the United States." said Sandy when explaining the power of the game.
When asked how many hours they play a day, they all looked around the table at each other and laughed. After informing me that I didn't really want to know how much time they spent online they all decided on pleading the fifth on the hours they spend on FarmVille. They all believed that the game is almost like another job. They have to make sure they are "on" to get the different goodies from their friends, even the ones who are international and are in different time zones.
"I sometimes delete my posts just so it doesn't look as bad." explained Inga when she described her time on FarmVille.
These women all enjoy the game so much, but do get a little upset when people take stuff and don't say "thanks." Other than that, they really enjoy the game.
They also play other games such as CafeVille, FrontierVille, and CityVille, but they all agreed that FarmVille is their favorite, and they plan on continuing to play it for years to come.