Britney Spears

Confessions of a CityVille addict

March 14, 2011: 3:17 PM ET

Why Zynga's casual gaming is minting money and hooking so many people -- including yours truly.

The author's expanding community in CityVille.

I'm taking a break.

Right about now, I take a few minutes to harvest crops, put up several small businesses, collect rent, and hire Facebook friends to work at community halls. That's because last month, I joined the legions on CityVille, the city-building simulation game from Zynga that annoys Facebook users with News Feed updates like, "JP needs donuts to feed hungry cops!" or "JP needs bird seed to feed pigeons!!"

Confessing as much by way of Fortune.com is even more embarrassing than the time I came out as a feverish, freaky-deaky photo-shopping Facebook addict. While many readers at the time identified with the notion of wanting to be liked, telling someone you're a CityVille fan seems as dubious a distinction as announcing yourself a Britney Spears fan.

"If you ask me to join, I'll block you," my best friend mused. She said this with a smile, but I got the sense she wasn't joking. Reactions from some colleagues were similar, from blank stares to silent judgment, followed by something like, "Oh, good for you." (Translation: "freak.") More

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