Zynga’s latest game, CityVille, highlights what separates FaceBook games from the rest of the industry.

A FaceBook friend is something I can ignore, but a CityVille “Neighbor” has my attention. The anti-social social behavior in FaceBook games makes me lol on the outside but 😥 on the inside. To be honest, I really like the game.

I will be your neighbor in CityVille. I don’t talk to people on FaceBook, I don’t write on my wall and have a backlog of friend requests.

CityVille (like other Ville games) has two pillars: Get players to rope in their friends, and make players want to spend real money. All motivation loops bring the player back to one of those two pillars. For some reason, these motivational forces make me more active in the FaceBook community than real friends. Hey, if you post about scoring tickets to Lady Gaga, what do I get for caring? In CityVille, if you just built a new laundromat franchise, I might get something.

I don’t even know who some of my CityVille neighbors are but I’ll gladly give them “Grant Money” to build a school or join their police force. It doesn’t cost me anything and they’ll probably do the same for me. If someone wants to be my FaceBook friend in order to become my neighbor in CityVille. I will sort though my backlog of friend requests to find you.

It’s not friendship, it’s an agreement. That is what FaceBook gaming is to me, we use each other to have fun for five minutes.

CityVille Strategy Tip: If you align your houses, businesses or plants in rows of five, people will click on them over other things.

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