Understanding GagaVille: A primer

Find out what happen when you combine the popular Facebook game FarmVille with unicorns, crystals and Lady Gaga

Topics: Lady Gaga, Facebook, Gaming, Music, Television,

Understanding GagaVille: A primerGagaVille: the most confusing place on Earth.

 In one of the odder marketing strategies we’ve seen in a while, Lady Gaga is leaking tracks from her new album “Born This Way” through a farming social networking game on Facebook. In all fairness FarmVille is the most popular application on Mark Zuckerberg’s site, with over 10 percent of users participating in the virtual crop-growing exercise. FarmVille is also available as an iPhone application, in case you want the experience of touching dirt from the comfort of your own smartphone.

Farmville basically works like an old-style Sims game: plow the land, get some coins for your avatar (or vice versa), trade them in for little gifts to make your pretend person happier, and forget what a soul-sucking existence you have while staring at a tiny screen. Oh! But in FarmVille you get to sync up your world with those of your friends, which explains all those annoying Facebook requests you get for the game.

So what does this have to do with Lady Gaga and this new GagaVille? And more important: What LSD-soaked imagination came up with this parallel universe, where instead of plants and animals your plot of land consists of sparkly unicorns, giant crystals jutting up from the earth, and something called “Fame Sheep”? TechCrunch gives a little bit of background on the partnership between Gaga, Clear Channel Radio and Zynga, the company behind FarmVille:

On May 17, Lady Gaga and Zynga will unveil, GagaVille – a neighboring farm on FarmVille, which is a Gaga inspired farm in-gam. GagaVille will showcase Lady Gaga’s style and themes from the album and videos (crystals, unicorns, sheep on motorcycles); and gamers will have exclusive access in Farmville to songs from “Born This Way” before the album is released later in the month. From May 17 to 19, players can unlock and stream a new un-released track per day. And from May 20 to 23, players can unlock and stream a significant portion of songs from the new album, plus special bonus remixes.



Well, that seems pretty straightforward … until you start to play the game and forget how many motorcycles you need to grow in order to trade in your flying horse to stream “Electric Chapel.”

Of course, if the thought of futzing around with My Little Ponies on mescaline seems like too much trouble to get Gaga’s music, you can always just drop $25 on a Zynga gift card at Best Buy and get the album for free.

Clear Channel, FarmVille and Lady Gaga: I guess it does make some sort of twisted sense that these three megabrands would join up to create something that resembles a dream you might have after eating a chocolate burrito and taking two Ambien.

And in case you weren’t confused enough, here’s a promotional video Zynga made to honor the occasion. It’s just as coherent as you’d expect. Enjoy!

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 22
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Legs McNeil, 1977
    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Suicide, 1977
    Rev and Alan Vega – I thought Alan was going to hit me with that chain. This was the Punk Magazine Benefit show.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ian Hunter and Fans, outside bathroom
    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Tommy Ramone, 1977
    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>