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The Farmville Craze: Part 1

Ever dreamed of building your own farm? Well, you might not have, but it's obviously something a few million people enjoy doing virtually. Zynga's social game, Farmville, which launched June 19th has since broken records in the space with 21 million Facebook users playing daily and 60 million people who play it on a regular basis.

I spoke to lead developer, Mark Skaggs, who briefly spoke about Farmville's latest feature (released last night) called "mystery boxes."

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So why would people want to spend 15FV (worth less than $5 in real money) to buy this "mystery box?" Well, according to Skaggs, they offer "excitement and the opportunity to get items that are much more valuable than 15FV cash. The idea is fun and mysterious – people love to have exclusive items in their farms and this is a great way to get a one-of-kind."

Will you start coughing up the dough (albeit virtual) or is the attraction to social gaming simply the free factor?

Check back for The Farmville Craze Part 2 where Skaggs gives me a look at what's next for the game, the future of Zynga and social gaming overall.

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