Last year we got inside information that Mafia Wars, the abysmally irritating Facebook game that spams your wall with updates from “friends” pretending to be mobsters by endlessly clicking their screen during work, was getting adapted into a movie. As everyone knows, the only morally acceptable thing to do while you’re on the clock (besides working) is reading Pajiba.
At the time, Dustin said: “The point I’m getting at is this: Mafia Wars is being made into a movie, which I believe makes it the first Facebook game to get a feature development deal (don’t quote me on that, and I’m sure Farmville is close behind).” He was only kidding when he said not to quote him. Otherwise it wouldn’t be on the Internet. But he was right. Farmville was only fifteen months away from its own rumor! So yeah, Farmville the Fucking Film will be heading to theaters, presumably somewhere between the second and third horsemen.
Here’s the problem. It’s not just that it’s as stupid an idea as making a game based on Battleship, Monopoly or a dozen other games that have no business being films for the simple lack of anything like a story. It’s because most Facebook games are not games. There is no decision making, there is absolutely no agency or thought. They are games just like the kid sitting slack jawed in the quarter-slot vibrating car in front of the grocery store is a NASCAR driver. Playing them is indistinguishable from the way I’ve seen some deeply stupid office workers play solitaire. They simply double click every single card until one moves to a different position, over and over again. I tried playing a Facebook game once, and mind you, I’m not a video game skeptic, and that was not a game. It was Mafia Wars or one of the other similar ones that kept getting plastered on my wall. The game? Click. Random text! Click something else. Never a decision, never a story. Just click. Click. Click.
The only way that the concept of this film could be more idiotic would be if Adam Sandler ends up starring.