Mafia Wars – Killin’ Time

1 comment

This innocuous “social networking” game drew my interest a…, gosh, couple years ago?  There’s certainly no romanticizing the mafia, but it’s admittedly a fun premise for gamers.  Items such as Dillinger’s gun, Brass Knuckles, hired thugs, and Capone’s Model 341A added a little chutzpah to various “jobs.”  These included blackmailing the district attorney, flipping a snitch, and dodging an FBI tail.

Sounds kind of fun when I set it up that way.  Despite the theme, I’ve known from the start that Mafia Wars is a pointless game.  Decorate the gaming all you want, but it basically involves clicking away an allotment of points to complete jobs, earn cash (no real monetary value), get prizes, and increase your daily allotment of… points.  Yippee. 

Social networking?  Well, yes, there is some of that.  I’ve bugged friends (and acquaintances) to join my mafia.  But it hasn’t increased in the slightest the frequency (never mind the quality) of more worthy communications.  I’ve even added several people to my Facebook page who I don’t even know so that my mafia would be stronger.  Why?  That’s a really dumb idea in these days of identity theft. It’s a pointless game!

I’ve also more or less assaulted (in keeping with the mafia theme) everyone to send me energy packs, parachutes, and… whatever else object du jour may be of use in building a stronger mafia.  I’m fairly certain (hopeful?) that the vast majority of my friends have blocked everything Mafia Wars related (or from Zynga, who publishes an assortment of similar games) from their news feeds.  How can you not?  The frequent requests and game “accomplishments” can literally smother posts that actually have interesting content.

I’ve known this, and still I played.  After the original launch of New York themed tasks, on came different cities including Moscow and Las Vegas…  Why?  Zynga recognizes that many players’ ever increasing daily allotment of points have no useful value without new tasks.  This would result in, duh, people leaving the game.  Zynga didn’t stop with slandering cities, though.  The entire countries of Cuba and Italy are also player destinations where mafia corruption can apparently be found from border to border.  Sucks to be them. 

Well, okay.  The mafia aspect that intrigued me wasn’t limited to just the 20’s through 40’s.  And, obviously, it wasn’t just in New York.  Organized crime continues today, and in different places.  That gives substance to an ever evolving assortment of weapons, armor, transportation, and animals (Animals?  Seriously?) Predator Posterto meet a modern mafia’s needs.  Witness my modded assault rifles, Boomslang ACR, Nguhea Sniper Rifles and Predator Miniguns.  Wait?! A Predator Minigun?  Really?  Right, how about a Rhinestone Cowboy or a Dr. Dre?  There’s ample evidence that thematic inspiration was exhausted long ago.

Well, there’s another reason for better, stronger, and faster weapons, ad nauseum.   Mafia Wars is about wealth, and not yours or mine.  Zynga’s.  Zynga doesn’t make money from people like me who build levels as they’re able.  They make money from the 1% of their audience who use real cash to buy better virtual “stuff.”  Want to win fights against strangers?  Win wars?  Rob their properties?  Well, then.  Buy! Buy mafia members.  Buy boosts!  Buy weapons! It’s not like Zynga keeps it a secret.  The game screen is built to entice sales.

The business model has a pronounced shelf life, though.  In order to keep selling virtual nothings, Zynga necessarily has to increase the attraction of new items, with ever increasing statistics that make them more powerful than what (Oh, sorry!) you may have just bought.  That’s their business.

So why am I still playing this game?!  Well, when should I quit?  I’ve already said that the game has no point to it.  The game has no end to it.  And yet I keep playing.  Those not afflicted no doubt rush to quote Mrs. Reagan, “Just say no!”  But… but… but…  I’ve put so much time into it! 

Playing Mafia Wars started innocently enough.  It took literally just several minutes early on to do what could be done.  But then… it grew, and grew, and grew.  It’s now easy to spend a half hour on Mafia Wars… and still leave things undone.  Why?  It’s a pointless game!

Just say no!

Sigh.  Ever the goal setter, I decided when I finished all the jobs in the current venues and when I iced my 3,000th mobster I would call it a day.  Today, finally, is that day. 

Glory be.

Okay, here’s my stats.  Fear me.Mafia Wars 

Holy addiction, Batman!  232 consecutive days doing jobs? And it’s a pointless game!  Why have I wasted so much time to play 232 consecutive days and accomplish… ZERO.  Nada.  Nothing?

I’ll tell you.  A vapid sense of accomplishment.

This isn’t social networking.  This isn’t competitive in any sense that involves craftiness, cleverness, or strategy.  It isn’t, and never was, worth my time.

But look at those stats! 

1 comment :

  1. Mafia Wars has never appealed to me, so I have no plans on trying it.

    Although.. I *might* have made an account on MySpace for my hubby to recruit into his Mafia. That sounds likely.

    But since joining Facebook I've found myself pulled into a few of the games. And I actually *have* made some new friends through it. *^_^* But it's amazing how much time they steal! A while back I stopped playing everything except Treasure Isle, and even that can take several hours a day.

    No joke there. I know I've spent at least 2 hours straight playing just Treasure Isle, and I don't even buy anything with real cash!

    These games are fun, but I agree that they have a limited shelf life. Either I get bored or decide there's too much to do and just quit everything. *^_^* Still miss my Runescape though...