|"Sweetie, I make forces of nature!!"|
|Keeping them interested in food growing is a losing battle|
When he recently asked if he could have his own "farm" because all his friends had one, my surging hopes were as rapidly shot down when it emerged that he wanted to join Facebook so he could play "Farmville," the game where users run a virtual farm. The irony is, that while he's on his Nintendo he's also quite often "farming" in a version of one of his favourite games, "The Sims," in which he can grow "virtual food."
|Plot 34's eight year old former Head of Secret Tunnels - "Take me to your Nintendo."|
Last year the international computer gaming consultant Andrew Mayer told a major industry conference that farming games would be the biggest growth segment in the business: "In the future there will be only farming games," he predicted. In September it was estimated that "Farmville," Facebook's virtual farming game, had sixty two million active users - or one in ten Facebook users overall. Sixty two million virtual farmers?!! That's a lot of kids "growing" virtual good who could themselves do far more growing outdoors.
|Down on the virtual farm|
But by now it's hard to get away from the fact that allotmenteering is still largely a pastime for men or childless couples over thirty five and is likely to remain so - unless Spongebob starts packing a secateurs in his square pants any day soon.