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Virtual farm games absorb real money, real lives

Last century's cash crops included tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane. Now we have magic cauliflower and super berries, too--and even though they can't be sold at market, some people still toil from dawn to dusk cultivating them.
People spend not just real time but also real money growing these crops in virtual farming games that combine the allure of both games and social networking in what is usually a cute and deceptively simple package. They can be addictive: many users come back at least once a day to micromanage their famrs and deal with other users' requests.

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