Facebook games are increasingly becoming an addiction with people around the world engaging in them.
Saudi Arabia is not far behind with 207,250 people in Saudi playing the renowned game Farmville and 189,523 Saudi fans on the City Ville game page, according to a research carried out by Socialbakers.
Some people play to escape from their reality and daily routine, while some play to widen their online social circle and others, usually the social butterflies, perceive it as a good platform to keep in touch as well as challenge their friends. The reasons may differ but the addictive behavior remains.
Facebook certainly has an edge, as a leading social networking site, compared to other online gaming websites due to the sheer volume of its users.
Hiba Zia Khan, a 22-year-old says, “Initially, I was peer pressured into playing Candy Crush Saga because of the hype created by my friends. Now, I just can’t stop playing. Besides, Facebook games are the best way to overcome boredom,” she said.
Nevertheless, there are people who stand against this mainstream phenomenon.
Lubna Mobeen, mother of four said, “I am totally fed up with my children’s obsession with these games. They have begun to prioritize games over family, friends, and worse, their school homework,” she said.
Abdullah Ahmad, 13, says, “Facebook games are just for people with friends and money. I think they are pointless,” he prefers other online games that are not available on social media outlets.
It is not just the youth but the older generation have also fallen victim too.
“My mother has registered to Facebook just to play the famous Farm Ville game. She spends hours playing without even noticing how times goes by,” said Seba Tariq. “My sisters and I sometimes feel neglected with all the time she spends preoccupied with the game. It makes us feel sad that she prefers playing these games over spending time with us; this is her new life,” she added.
We in turn spoke to Seba’s mother, who explained why she had turned to these games, saying everyone around her had moved on with their lives, while her life remained the same.
“My daughters graduated and are now working, so I am home alone most of the time, while they work,” she said. “I feel lonely and I admit this game has kept me occupied and sane because I was going crazy alone. I love how it shifts me to another world and I don’t even feel time passing,” she added.
The addiction has even caused many corporate offices to block and ban Facebook games fearing it would affect productivity levels.
Studies show that excessive gaming has often been linked to poor eyesight and obesity especially amongst children. In addition, these games cause sleep deprivation, as you might be playing with someone in a different time zone and get caught up in the game.