One of the caveats of Farmville is that to really build your farm up to a respectable degree, it takes a long time to accrue the necessary virtual wealth. Not to worry: if you want to bypass the slow process of waiting for your crops to grow so you can sell them and purchase whatever nonexistent amenities you desire, you can acquire Farm Cash or Farm Coins with real, live money.
Farmville makes it simple to purchase its good-for-not-quite-nothing-but-pretty-close cash in easy increments. For example, you can buy 25 Farm Bucks for $5 (USD), or 310 Farm Bucks for $50. So, it’s kind of like taking your U.S. money to Canada in the early ‘90s, or achieving the exact opposite effect in present-day England. Not that this concept of trading real money for virtual goods is anything new (here’s looking at you, World of Warcrafters and Second Lifers), but I personally still can’t wrap my head around spending $30 of my hard-earned cash on a nonexistent vacation home. Can a weathered Farmville gamer tell me why you need a vacation home on the same property as your farm home when that’s more than enough dough for an entire month’s supply of (real) Ramen noodles?
I also couldn’t help but notice that the communities in Farmville appear to complete all of their monetary transactions with either bills or coins; yes, even Alanis Morissette could appreciate the fact that, while you can indeed use real-world credit cards to purchase X amounts of Farm Cash and Farm Coins, within the Farmville universe one is forced to waddle to the virtual marketplace (I don’t see any cars or trucks available for purchase), their overalls stuffed to capacity with physically burdensome cash. Now, I could forgive the game’s creators if this were, say, Age of Empires II, which is set in a time when credit cards were not yet invented. But if you’re modern enough to include something called a “Hot Rod Tractor” in your Farmville classified ads, I think the surrounding populace is ready for some plastic.