Saturday, April 28, 2012
Police Give Take On Facebook ‘Pot Farm’ Game
Some people log on to Facebook to connect with friends. Others play games like, the very popular “Farmville”. For many people, online games provide hours of harmless entertainment. But one Facebook game may not be so innocent.
WHNT News 19 takes a closer look at the game “Pot Farm,” where the goal of the game is to grow and harvest marijuana.
On “Pot Farm” nearly a million people don’t care who sees them growing fake weed.
“Certain people are into certain things. Some peole are in to killing dragons and all that, some people might want to sit there and grow weed,” said Florence resident, Chance McMorrow.
Users start by planting hemp, the most basic pot plant.
The goal is keep the plants alive, while adding more plants to your farm. The rewards, stronger pot seeds, grow a more potent crop.
“There’s really no big deal about playing, I guess it’s just for fun,” said William Bullock, a gamer.
For many gamers, that fun comes from fulfilling a fantasy — cultivating an illegal marijuana crop, that in the virtual world, becomes very accepted and even celebrated.
“It seems pretty cool, I guess,” said McMorrow.
But for law enforcement, this game adds one more avenue in their constant battle against cannabis.
“When I first heard about it the other day, I had no idea what it was,” said Sheffield Police Chief Greg Ray.
So Ray logged in and took his first look at the game with WHNT News 19′s cameras rolling.
“This looks more like a Christmas tree than it does a marijuana plant,” said Ray. “I guess you can say it’s more of a comical thing.”
However, Chief Ray said that disguise may glamorize the game and the drug.
“One of the biggest messages you’re sending out is there are no repercussions, if you’re playing a game and you get caught you just reboot and start over again,” said Ray. “In real life that’s not the case.”
Critics say this Facebook “Pot Farm” looks like fun and games on a computer screen, but it may be teaching people how to grow a real pot farm.
And even William Bullock, who already told us he thinks this game is for entertainment purposes only, admits people could learn a few basics about becoming a real-life pot farmer.
“I would definitely, before you get into anything, go play this game and just get on what you should do,” Bullock said.
“I don’t think it teaches you how to be a pot farmer or a pot grower, no more than a dungouns and dragons game would teach you how to be a dragon slayer,” said Chief Ray.
It’s a virtual reality game that may give users a different kind of high.
Facebook requires users to be at least 21 years old before logging in to play Pot Farm.