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3 January 2011
FARMVILLE, Facebook -- FarmVille President Mark Pincus gave a short but impassioned speech to the UN General Assembly this week, arguing that the fledgling state was entitled to have its rapid growth and influence recognised with a Security Council seat.
"All we ask is to be recognised as a legitimate stakeholder in global security matters," he said. "And that you help us water our strawberries and adopt the occasional lonely Brown Cow."
Pincus interrupted other delegates to repeat these requests several times over the next hour, until organisers switched off his microphone.
Farmville was first settled in 2009 by refugees forced from their homelands by the Mafia Wars. Today, it boasts a population of almost 80 million, and a booming economy powered by an unprecendented global demand for virtual agriculture. But, despite its growing power, Farmville faces an uphill battle to get UN delegates onside.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague claims Farmville needs to become more self-reliant. "The rest of the world needs to send a consistent message that it's not going to help harvest their corn," he said. "And their application for EU agricultural subsidies is unlikely to succeed."
But some NGOs (non-governmental organisations) have praised Farmville's enlightened approach to international affairs. "In an era when most Western nations are cutting down on immigration, they'll take as many new citizens as they can get," Amnesty International said. "It's an impressive example."
"Most Farmvillians are peaceful, non-intrusive people who simply want a bit of help to raise a digital barn and breed some sheep icons," he said. "People argue that Farmville won't stop spamming others until they've achieved world domination, but they said the same thing when World of Warcraft emerged. Given time, we've seen that far from being a threat to Western society, players have just kept to themselves in a securely locked room."
The staunch opposition of the United States is the biggest hurdle to Farmville's goal, with the Obama administration claiming that the online nation's growing power and influence represents a threat to global security. "They're a rogue state that refuses to allow UN weapons inspectors to log in anonymously without creating a cute and colourful avatar first," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned. "And I just don't believe that all those silos are for grain alone."
Clinton supports military action if Farmville refuses to become a good digital citizen, warning that if the international online community gives in to its relentless demands to collect eggs and paint barns, Facebook users could once again find themselves threatened by marauding pirates, vampires and zombies.
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|