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Councilman Booted For His Farmville Obsession 185

Bulgarian Dimitar Kerin won't have to decide if he should tend his crops or pay attention to Plovdiv City Council business anymore. The committee voted him off 20-19, saying that he obviously "needs more time for his virtual farm." From the article: "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. "


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Councilman Booted For His Farmville Obsession

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  • Too nerdy. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 ( 874576 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:46PM (#31689424)
    Seriously, what is it about this Farmville crap that turns otherwise normal people into ridiculous, obsessed nerdy dweebs? I've played WoW quite a bit, I'm really quite a nerd myself but this game looks boring as shit and it seems to drag "normal" people into it like WoW draws in nerds.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:50PM (#31689480)

      Seriously, what is it about this Farmville crap that turns otherwise normal people into ridiculous, obsessed nerdy dweebs? I've played WoW quite a bit, I'm really quite a nerd myself but this game looks boring as shit and it seems to drag "normal" people into it like WoW draws in nerds.

      My question is: Should a poster with the moniker of 'RightSaidFred99 []' be allowed to criticize anything at all?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >Seriously, what is it about this Farmville crap that turns otherwise normal people into ridiculous, obsessed nerdy dweebs? I've played WoW quite a bit, I'm really quite a nerd myself but this game looks boring as shit and it seems to drag "normal" people into it like WoW draws in nerds.

      *draws deep breath*

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      These people are probably not gamers. So they probably never jumped on Harvest Moon back in the day.

      So they get on Facebook to build a social network and there they are introduced to the wonderful world of virtual life simulators like Farmville and they crack out.

      I personally go for Tetris. It is a total time killer and if I have to turn it off I do not have to worry about "saving my progress" or none of that jazz.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Culture20 ( 968837 )
      Never played it, but I'm betting if you don't spend time tending your crops, they die in real-world time. I used to play a diku-mud fifteen years ago where you were charged "rent" for your equipment on a real-world basis. If you stopped playing for a while, you lost your equipment when your gold ran out. So, I used a HDD syncing bug to my advantage to clone equipment (specifically diamonds) to sell at local shops to get enough gold to last a long while. But I still got addicted because of the "gotta hel
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 )

      Here I'm checking Slashdot at work.

      I won't play hypocrite and blast others for what they do with their time. Everyone has their things they enjoy.

      The problem with something like Farmville is that a standard web page still appears somewhat like work. I can also content that keeping up on technology news goes along with my job. Farmville is CLEARLY not work.

      Farmville and games like it also need users to log back in and play the game at specific time intervals. My mother claimed she was massively bogged down w

      • by Fjandr ( 66656 )

        Games that have a specific, real-world interval that is frequently as short as a couple hours seem to easily touch off obsessive-compulsive behavior. Farmville is especially bad because of the amount of crops that have intervals in some multiple of 24 hours. Either someone is obsessive enough to log in exactly on-time (a potential indicator of a problem in and of itself), or the schedule gets bumped out by a few minutes (or more) each time. It eventually shifts enough to force those obsessive people into (w

        • I play Mafia Wars. I get X energy back every few minutes. I could time that I need to hop back on and play after so long to maximize my character. However, it isn't necessary.

          Farmville is another story. If your crops are ready in 2 hours, and you don't log back on, your crops perish. The game requires players to make real life sacrifices to meet deadlines.

        • by shermo ( 1284310 )

          They ran into this problem with daily cooldowns in WoW. It gradually gets pushed back later and later since you're invariably going to be a few minutes late at times. Eventually it's a choice of go to bed or stay awake to do daily transmutes.

          Luckily they realized this and changed the all the cooldowns to 23 hours. Problem solved.

    • by gsslay ( 807818 )

      Since you've clearly never played it, and relate to games in terms of WoW, let me explain.

      Imagine WoW grinding that consists of moving your mouse a tiny, minuscule fraction across the screen then clicking, then selecting from a popup menu of three options. Then repeat 20 million times. All to accompaniment of hoe-down music.

      The MMPOG element consists of your friends coming over to your farm to do the same, but invisibly, cos you can't see them.

      Having fun yet?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mini me ( 132455 )

      I believe it is the time limited nature of game play. Once you have tended to your farm, there is nothing left for you to do. This builds up excitement that you will get to play again soon. That excitement keeps people coming back. If you could play FarmVille for hours on end without stopping, the novelty would quickly wear off.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Y0u'r3 ju5+ j3a10u5 0f h+3 3133t +urn1p f4rm3r5 gu1ld! W00+!

    • I believe these sort of games provide a sense of accomplishment that many people find addictive, in spite of the fact that in reality they have accomplished nothing. It FEELS like you have accomplished something, and you feel compelled to continue on to accomplish even more.

      You could say this is a hallmark of a great game. It compels the player to play more.

    • Re:Too nerdy. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by wjousts ( 1529427 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:41PM (#31691116)

      I found this piece rather informative:

      5 creepy ways video games are trying to get you addicted []

      • by blair1q ( 305137 )

        so did i.

        so i read it again.

        and i learned some more.

        so i read it again. and again. and again.

        but my boss walked in so i'm doing some work now. well, not now but he's used to me posting to /., so i'll be doing the work in just a minute.

        i'll read it again later, when i get home.

    • Here is an article talking about techniques [] games use to make us addicted. My favorite quote from the article:

      the attraction of a simple flash game like Bejeweled depends entirely on how badly you want to avoid doing the work you have open in the other window.

      And that also explains 100% why at this moment I am posting on slashdot.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:50PM (#31689482)

    I'd fire anyone who uses a company computer on company time for personal reasons.

    Exempting this comment posting, of course.

    • I don't know about the US but here in some EU countries when you sign a contract as an employee usually you have to sign a waiver that states explicitly so , or else _said_ employer has nothing against you until they change company policy.

      I had a customer that completely blocked facebook social networking sites etc through their proxy. Soon afterwards the call center was so overflooded with calls (also from high up in management) that the admins had nothing to do but to allow access.

      I don't have the link on

    • /. is geek central, so counts a professional development/software engineering research. :-)
  • Idiot! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:52PM (#31689522)
    If he'd been playing SimCity instead, he could have claimed it was work related!
  • On Slashdot, laughing at people who lose their job over farmville and facebook.

    At least I can claim I'm keeping up to date with technology by visiting a tech web site.

  • Good litmus test (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RLiegh ( 247921 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:53PM (#31689542) Homepage Journal

    If you can't put down the zynga long enough to take care of your real-world job, maybe you don't need one. Normally I don't relish social darwinism, but in this case it's hard to not see the appropriateness of it.

  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:54PM (#31689550)

    The article notes that he was voted off of his committee. It doesn't say whether his actual seat is gone.

  • Oblig. (Score:2, Funny)

    Looks like the old saying is true. You reap what you sow.
  • two news in one. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by andrea.sartori ( 1603543 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:59PM (#31689622) Journal
    The real news here is, they voted him out 20-19. What were they thinking? I mean, the other 19.
  • It would appear that the tammogotchi has a thriving offspring.

    And this is why I play games - not work them as a second job.

  • by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @01:08PM (#31689742)

    implications of Farmville see: []

  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @01:19PM (#31689896)
    I've considered throwing a brick through the front glass on city hall to indicate how I feel about my local government's obscene spending policies. Time spent playing online games is time during which they aren't spending ridiculous amounts of money on stupid, wasteful things.

    I want them to do at least 80% less than they do, so if they waste a bunch of time on online games, that's okay with me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MiniMike ( 234881 )

      I've considered throwing a brick through the front glass on city hall ... < snip >... spending ridiculous amounts of money on stupid, wasteful things.

      Like new windows? Maybe you'd be better off just leaving a playstation on their doorstep.

    • . . . spending ridiculous amounts of money on stupid, wasteful things . . .

      The subtle point here is that they are spending your money.

      If your local government's members were required to fund a portion of their projects with some of their own money . . . they would decide real fast that the city does not need a monorail and a special economic free trade high tech park for breeding rabbits.

      Getting back on topic . . . if this guy is forced to stop playing Farmville . . . maybe he might decide that the City of Plovdiv needs it's it own farm!

      He has learned from the game that farming

    • I strongly suspect that the pork in Farmville is cheaper than the pork from the Council.

    • Give your local government some credit--it can do both! Playing Farmville does not interfere with not doing their jobs, which are outsourced out to expensive consultants.
  • I just rescued an unemployed council member! Please help me by sending me a were-pig or pork knight to entertain him.

  • Holy crap! I've been in meetings with 20 people that take forever and are drawn out simply because too many people need to hear their own voice. I don't blame this guy for zoning out. 51 isn't a council, that's a legislature.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:25PM (#31690880) Homepage Journal

    he said "Im just level 40. there are councillors who are level 45. why is noone talking about them"

  • Wait. What?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigBlueOx ( 1201587 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:26PM (#31690900)
    There's an AOL News?? AOL is still around???

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault