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The last few years have seen an absolute explosion in the number of people using social networking sites.  Communities like MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook have grown to immense proportions.  In fact, I have even begun to partake in them a bit as a means of communication among some of the groups I run with and to keep up, to a greater or lesser extent, with old friends.

The popularity of these sites has brought a new trend along with it.  Hundreds of small games and applications from FarmVille to Mafia Wars have sprung up within these communities.  Until I began blocking most of the notifications my personal pages was flooded with daily news of the exploits of everyone on my friends list in their various and sundry games. 

Now, I admit, I tried several of these games out for a time.  I even enjoyed them for a while.  But after a time, they just became tedious.  So, I stopped really looking at them.  I don’t think I have actually loaded any of them up in several months.  But, I still get the gift requests, the group invites, and the like for the games.  But, I did begin to notice something interesting: the people who seemed to be the most hardcore about these games were many of the same ones who would chuckle or roll their eyes if they heard me mention World of Warcraft or another MMO I was playing.

This fact was reinforced to me when a friend of mine mentioned that he had noticed a similar thing amongst co-workers who gave him a hard time about his World of Warcraft play, but had become addicted to these mini games on the social networks.

The more I think about it, the more this amuses me.  A whole crop of people who look upon me and my brethren in geekhood with disdain are now hip deep in these miniaturized and watered-down versions of the same sort of game they feel marks me as a social misfit.  It makes me laugh to think of the time they have spent hunched in front of their screens feeding fish, planting crops, or rubbing out a rival mafioso.  They don’t even seem to understand what they have become.

All I have to say is Welcome, my newfound Brothers and Sisters!  Welcome to the Geek Nation!

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