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Social Networks The Almighty Buck Your Rights Online

Target To Sell Facebook "Credits" As Gift Cards 96

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-bucks-worth-of-farmville dept.
Julie188 writes "Target will begin selling Facebook's virtual currency as gift cards on September 5, becoming the first brick-and-mortar retailer to do so. Facebook Credit gift cards will be available in $15, $25 and $50 denominations at the retailer's 1,750 stores. That's right, you can now spend real dollars to get fake ones so you can buy imaginary items for games like FarmVille, Bejeweled and 150 other FB games or apps. If that interests you, please contact me. I have some swamp land in Florida I'd like to show you."
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Target To Sell Facebook "Credits" As Gift Cards

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  • wrong category (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chichilalescu (1647065) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @01:53AM (#33446434) Homepage Journal

    this is not about rights, it's about games. I remember seeing a lot of discussions about buying stuff for MMOGs and other tonguetwisters with real money.
    facebook users should only be subject to the same amount of ridicule as other gamers.

  • by Custard (45810) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @02:03AM (#33446468)

    I heard that people are selling these things called "movie tickets" that grant the bearer the right to sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers.

    If that interests you, please contact me. I have some swamp land in Florida I'd like to show you.

  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @02:04AM (#33446478)

    I, personally, feel that this is the very acme of human civilization. It's all downhill from here. We have achieved out existential duty, fulfilled the will of the universe in bringing about Facebook Credit Gift Cards. This is the Great Will of the Cosmos.

  • by PaganRitual (551879) <splaga AT internode DOT on DOT net> on Thursday September 02, 2010 @02:14AM (#33446512)

    Opening admission: I'm coerced into playing Farmville and Fronterville by my Mother and a couple of friends who want me to send them gifts and occasionally do crap on their farms. Also, I willingly play the D&D Adventures FB game, and I've tried the 'just barely a game' type stuff like Mafia Wars.

    To my knowledge, all the Facebook games are free. Lets assume that Farmville was an 'indie' game. If the game provides you with some level of enjoyment, how is dropping $15 once off for some extra game content any different from paying $15 for some indie game that you might play for a week or two on and off before finishing it or being done with it. I suppose once you start to spend a substantial amount of money it's a different issue, but then that's not specific to Facebook games. It does make me wonder if anyone I know has spent money on these games, I must admit.

    Is the fact that the goods are 'virtual' such an issue? This will start an argument, but how tangible are any of the mp3s that you purchase from say, iTunes, or books via Kindle? Yes, it's an mp3 or a glorified text file, that provides entertainment, or whatever you want to define it as, but it's still entertainment in virtual form. Really, how different is it to purchasing goods for some subjectively entertaining virtual farm; at the end of the day is it still not simply entertainment in an intangible form? How is this not just a digital way of buying extra dolls for a dollhouse or some other real world to virtual comparison that might have not implied that I own dolls?

    Each to their own, seriously.

    Also, you can walk in and touch swampland in Florida. That's way more effort than dragging some fences and cows into a virtual lot on my PC. It's a totally different market ;)

  • by clsours (1089711) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @02:27AM (#33446570)
    Most (almost all) FB games are not actually games. They are a series of clicks with no challenge, no particular set of strategy, no real difference between levels. There exist no actual gameplay elements. I say this as someone who has played everything from MMOGs to NetHack clones to Text-Based Adventures (Zork and the like) to Flash style games (N - Way of the Ninja) to artsy games (Braid) to Triple-A shooters (Halo 3) and more (a tribute to a life well spent).

    If Facebook games offered some gameplay (which some do, ie Bejewelled, Desktop Defender) and not just a blatant and sickening attempt to grab eyeballs and personal information, it would be harder for me to hate them and their creators.
  • by Custard Horse (1527495) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @02:42AM (#33446650)

    It really is a matter of semantics.

    I personally think people who spend all of their time playing World of Warcraft need to get a life - this being compounded by monthly fees - but they enjoy it so what's the harm?

    Better than car-jacking and/or popping caps in innocent bystanders' collective asses.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:01AM (#33446744)

    Frankly, i don't get it, if i've paid for the game i expect to have full functionality out of the box, paying afterwards for DLC is something i don't do.

    You do get full functionality out of the box (at least for the games with DLC that I've seen). If you buy something like Fallout 3, it is a fully functional, self-contained game. The game doesn't stop working when they release DLC, and you are not compelled to buy DLC. It's simply additional content.

    Having said that, this Facebook stuff and buying in-game items or currency is quite a different beast.

  • Wait, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:14AM (#33446792)
    Isn't this the same as buying tokens to play arcade games? The currency isn't "fake", it still has value.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:21AM (#33446812)

    He's just trying to point out the idiocy in the summary: People who buy swamp land are conned -- they don't actually get what they think they're getting. The people who buy items in FB games get exactly what they want -- the poster doesn't seem to respect it but who cares what he thinks? There's no point in comparing these two or even implying that these would be the same people.

  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:57AM (#33446936) Homepage

    How is this any different from all of the games (PS3, X-Box, and PC) that let you use real dollars to purchase avatars, skins, and other in-game add-ons?

    I'm also fairly sure that some simulation games let you put real money in for game money, though their names don't come to mind.

    So the only news here is that Target is becoming a middle-man. Oh, and we get to ridicule FarmVille.

  • by delinear (991444) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @07:54AM (#33448268)
    Even then I don't think it's so clear cut. If it's a case of buying stuff that's obtainable by playing the game normally, that's wholly different to buying stuff that requires endless grinding. A lot of people are cash rich and time poor, I wouldn't give up my job so I could grind in my favourite game, but if I could divert some of the proceeds of one to the other I might consider it, if it lets me get on with enjoying the parts of the game that are not so time intensive. Imagine a quest in a game that takes an hour or so and the upshot is you get a magical sword. Buying the sword outright seems lame, you entirely negate the need to run what might be a fun little quest. On the other hand, an hour long question with a 1% chance of getting the same magic sword is likely to be a maddening time sink - once you've run the quest once and seen the content, I don't think it would be unreasonable to be able to say I don't want to invest all this time farming a sword, I've already invested the time elsewhere and now I want to trade the proceeds of that time for this item so I can get on with the next quest. I actually think that kind of system is pretty fair as it lets the people with little money but lots of spare time (kids, students) participate, but it doesn't unfairly punish those with jobs who just want a fun game to play in their leisure time. Of course, it's also possibly a slippery slope because if it works, every game where you would automatically get the sword after the quest will move to the model where you get a % chance of getting the sword with an option to buy...

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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