Game-on

Some folk like Scrabble, others Monopoly, some enjoy Snap, others relax over Chess. We each have games we enjoy and games we avoid like the plague. And it’s no different online. Many are puzzled by the popularity of Farmvillethe Facebook social game (although aren’t all games social?) that let’s you ‘farm with your friends’. You often hear the phrase ‘I just don’t get it’ when referencing the game, yet with 55,468,666 current active users it’s something many do ‘get’ and like.

Farmville is just one of a myriad of such interactive, casual games that you can play with others on the now humongous social network, so in case you thought it was something only some of your more annoying friends did to fill your news page here are some stats via All Facebook:

PS. Noted re. the map of ‘England’. The size of the population for the country is about right though (UK total was estimated at 61.8 million in 2009 by the Office for National Statistics).

Archiving the ephemeral

LoadingPretty Loaded – a preloader museum curated by Big Spaceship.

A salute to Flash loading screens. Fellow blogger Tom Armitage, who spotted it, didn’t quite know what to say, but I strangely like it. It goes to show how much creativity can go into what was the online equivalent of standing on a platform waiting for a train to come – sometimes the train arrives immediately, sometimes you have ads to look at, sometimes the train never comes.

Yet, as Flash loading screens are so throw-away, they’re the sort of thing that can get lost over time. When archiologists delve back into what’s left of what we currently understand as the internet in years to come you know they’ll find chunks of Wikipedia, and remnants of blogs but Flash loading pages and microsites…?

The creators describe the site as “a tribute to a vanishing art form amid a constant changing digital world.” Let’s hope that the site itself doesn’t also vanish, as history shouldn’t always be made up of the things that didn’t wear out.

This ‘museum’ also reminds me of a fantastic project that friend Iain Simons is involved with, Save the Videogame. Together with the National Media Museum and Nottingham Trent University are building a National Videogame Archive and are raising awareness across the UK that videogames are disappearing. More below: