I first was introduced to Facebook when I was invited by a gaming friend to see some of her family photographs. She then urged me to try some Facebook farming games partly in order to gain a new neighbour and partly with a view to persuade me to write strategy guides for these games. A year later, I regularly play two Facebook Farming games. These are the well-known 'FarmVille' and less well-known 'Fantasy Kingdoms'.
In doing so, I have become aware of some deep-rooted psychological factors that come into play when individuals participate in these games.
For a start, it is these games, I believe, that have bridged the initial gap between young gamers and those of the 'Baby Boomer' generation and older. Individuals who would not have contemplated the purchase of a console or handheld system for the purpose of playing games are seduced far more easily into playing a 'free' game on Facebook when friends urge them to do so.
A few years ago, I wrote an article on gaming as a form of therapy. With the explosion of Facebook users, far more individuals now find gaming to be a successful form of therapy, whether for pain, overeating or other physical, mental or emotional disabilities.