One of the things all of these Facebook games want you to do… in fact need you to do, if they are to survive… is give them some money.
That means establishing some sort of financial relationship with a company you might not know enough about about, or one that you might know a bit too much about, to feel comfortable forking over credit card or PayPal information.
So when Facebook popped a little message onto my main page about Facebook Credits being the easiest way to pay for things on Facebook, two things popped into my head.
The first was the thought, “Now wouldn’t that be convenient, what with well over a thousand games on Facebook!”
That was quickly followed in my mind by this scene from The Simpsons.
Homer: One adult and four children.
Woman: Would you like to buy some Itchy and Scratchy Money?
Homer: What’s that?
Woman: Well it’s money that’s made just for the park. It works just like regular money, but it’s, er…”fun”.
Bart: Do it, Dad.
Homer: Well, OK, if it’s fun…let’s see, uh…I’ll take $1100 worth.
In the show, that exchange is immediately followed by this visual.
So what was going to be the story with Facebook Credits? Convenient universal currency or Itchy and Scratchy Money?
Well, lucky for me and my meager sense of investigative journalism, Facebook has a help page about Facebook Credits. And one of the items on the page answers the magic question, complete with ending preposition, “What applications can I use Facebook credits with?“
There are 20 applications on that list, not including the Facebook gift shop, and I would seriously like to avoid the Facebook gift shop.
20 applications out of the thousands on Facebook? That is leaning seriously towards the Itchy and Scratchy Money end of the spectrum.
But there at the top of the list was FarmVille.
Good. At least the #1 game on Facebook is there, since nothing else from the Top 20 seemed to be there. Potentially 82 million players are covered.
Because FarmVille being there is like… and I’ll apologize in advance for continuing to force the theme park analogy here… making Itchy and Scratchy Money usable for hamburgers. You wish it could be used for more, especially if you have Homer’s $1100 worth, but lots of people buy hamburgers. You could almost get away with it if they were hamburger vouchers. (It is an analogy, back off vegematarians, or consider garden burgers included.)
That’s not so bad.
Then I started looking into it.
You can buy 56 Facebook Credits for $9.99. Why that ratio? I have no idea. But ten bucks gets you 56.
You can take those credits to FarmVille and spend 50 of them on 25 units of Farm Cash or 7,500 Farm Coins.
Or, to put it another way, you can take approximately $9.00 worth of Facebook credits and buy $5.00 worth of FarmVille currency.
The FarmVille Currency Exchange
Some might say that if you’re going to go buy virtual currency, you might as well do it in the most idiotic way possible since you’re probably brain dead as it is. Me, I like to keep my idiocy as frugal as possible.
And you won’t get to frugality going this route.
So while I have to admit that Facebook credits aren’t quite Itchy and Scratchy Money, they aren’t exactly a viable gaming currency on Facebook either.
Or as the LOLCats say, “ur doing it wrong.”