Ian Bogost was one of one of FarmVille's biggest critics. So he created a pointless game to parody that pointless game. Then his pointless game became a hit. So Wired wrote about it. Now that's a pointless game too. What?
Bogost created a game called Cow Clicker, where the only object of the game was to click on cows and trigger a Facebook alert that a player had just clicked a cow. It was designed to be utterly pointless, yet also viral. It was designed explicitly as a criticism of Zynga's breakout Facebook hit that you've gotten a zillion pointless invitations to play from annoying friends, FarmVille. But something funny happened: It became a hit itself. And not only with people who were playing it as some sort of itonic meta-criticism, but with people who were just, you know, into clicking cows.
Jason Tanz of Wired wraps all this up in a nice feature story that's probably less confusing than this blog post. That is, until you get to the cows.
Because not only does Wired have a story on Bogost's game, but it actually makes the story a game itself. Every time you click on the word "cow" in the story, a cow image pops up. And the only way to get rid of the cow is to share it on Facebook. Because some cows cover the text, in order to click all 97 cows that appear in the story, and win the game, you effectively have to spam Facebook. It's devious and evil and kind of brilliant and entertaining, and so meta I can't really get my head around it.