You might enjoy raking in money as a fake mobster in Mafia Wars, or collecting cotton subsidies in FarmVille, but TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington argues that the real racket in virtual games is for the companies that run them, and for the social networking sites that host them.
Is it? Maybe. All of these games can be played without spending any real money, and without signing up for shady offers to receive more in-game currency. But the extra loot can make the game much more fun.
Zynga, one of the leaders in social networking games, not-so-coincidentally announced a few days after the controversial original post that they will no longer serve ad or reward offers that ask for users’ mobile phone numbers.