America is gearing up for the annual Thanksgiving Day pig-out, a holiday chock full of ingredients, recipes, casseroles and all out deliciousness – not to mention awkward family gatherings, football fever, Black Friday holiday shopping kick-off sales, and the beginning of eggnog season…
So in a festive social currency experiment, Frisky Mongoose compared the costs of preparing traditional Thanksgiving staples in FarmVille versus real life. See how the farmer’s market stood up to real-world grocery pricing below. Besides being fun and timely, these results are an interesting peek at the level of cost-structure consistency and real-world relativity in FarmVille’s virtual currency (FV Coins and FV Bucks).
Game developers have a nearly free reign when it comes to determining cost structure for their virtual world marketplaces. So how does one decide on a social gaming economy? It’s a key turning point for all social game developers, knowing in the end that the game’s economy will affect every virtual good and service, and in turn, the gameplay experience as a whole.
How much should virtual goods cost – should pricing be based on supply and demand as in the free market? Should costs relate to each other in the same ratio as real-world pricing? Whether or not there’s real money involved, social gaming currencies are one of the core elements of gameplay (and design). But when players are paying real dollars for virtual goods, it’s a situation worth investigating – even if virtual good values are utterly subjective.
Thanksgiving dinner looks delicious whether you’re preparing real recipes or a virtual menu. Possible currency comparisons are endless, but here are a few Frisky favorites for your enjoyment:
FarmVille offers a limited-time baby turkey (which transforms into a giant gobbler for harvest) for 7 Farm Bucks/2075 Coins, versus a 10lb turkey at Sam’s Club that sells for $52. Find turkey tips and facts online, or vegetarians can gobble up an inflatable turkey for $12 from Archie McPhee. If pork is more your style, you can pick up a FarmVille pig for 1000 Coins, or a 6lb Honey-Baked half ham for $45.
Grow your own pumpkins for the reasonable price of 30 Farm Coins a patch, or pick up a pricey pumpkin pie from Neiman Marcus for $50. If you’ve got room left over for Black Friday breakfast, you can have pumpkin pie pancakes with a 2lb box of mix from Amazon for $9.
And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite side dish, cranberry sauce. Jellied, whole, canned or fresh from the bog, you can get cranberries for 55 Farm Coins per patch, or just order a 6 pack of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce from Amazon for $10 (less than $2 per can).
Once you’ve prepared all this delicious food, mark sure your feast looks as good as it smells and tastes (aka: don’t overlook the decorations). Another one of FarmVille’s limited time Thanksgiving items, the Harvest Table is the most expensive item on our list at 3000 Farm Coins. Or for $660, you can get a real-world Craftsmen harvest table.
Dinner, decorations and now some data – here is a FarmVille Thanksgiving by the numbers:
- FarmVille Enters Reality With Green Giant Partnership
- FarmVille Talks Turkey with Festive New Items
- Social Game Currency Crowdsources Payments: Real Work, Fake Money
- Rudolph and Friends: New Items in FarmVille Virtual Goods Marketplace
- Zynga’s Virtual Goods Drive Raises $1.5 Million for Haiti Relief