If someone had told me a year ago that I would run home after work in order to check on my ‘virtual restaurant’ I wouldn’t have believed it.
And yet, it happened. This year I discovered Facebook games, and while they’re not as time-consuming as games like World of Warcraft for example, they’re definitely fun. It only takes a few hours the first couple of nights to setup each game, but what they do require is scheduling oneself to play them.
I would recommend Facebook games to anyone that needs help learning time management, including children and teenagers. If you play Farmville, and don’t harvest your crops, you get an immediate repercussion – they die. If you bake muffins in YoVille and don’t come back in the hours specified, they burn. No gamer wants their crops to die or their muffins to burn!
These are not games that challenge your intellect, but they do offer an opportunity for stress relief. And isn’t that what games are supposed to do?
Like everything, there are downsides to playing these games. One is that purchasing anything on the games may result in unexpected credit card charges – although in reality, there is no need to purchase anything. A second is that you may annoy your other Facebook friends by all the little posts that show up any time you do anything (make sure to turn these off!). Another is that some feel that your professional reputation may suffer if someone realizes you are playing these games instead of doing more socially acceptable things such as cleaning, exercising, or organizing your file drawers I assume. This seems overly paranoid to me, but to each their own.
For those who aren’t concerned what other people may think, try them out. They are fun and silly and may even teach the unexpected skill of managing your time better. And how many times in your life do you get to be a Mafia Capo, a Special Forces Operative, a Farmer, a Roller Coaster Designer, a Restaurant Owner, and a Knight all in the same evening?
Taking some time to play a little is unlikely to keep anyone from doing the things that have to be done. After all… there’s always that time in between!