Best use for touch hardware yet? FarmVille

Even with interactive screensavers, mapping applications and games all designed for touch applications, I may have found the best use of touch technology yet.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Day in and day out here I write articles spanning all kinds of relatively boring topics to the untrained eye. Today, after my previous article analysing the business model (yawn) of online game phenomenon, FarmVille, I discovered a rather interesting twist to the gameplay.


FarmVille is grid based, similar to SImCity in the way that every item uses up a number of squares on the canvas you have. A chicken will take up one square, a plantation patch will take up 4x4 squares, and buildings take up far more.

Considering the game is so hefty on the computer's resources through Flash consumption and CPU usage, even with scaling the graphics down a notch, even moving the mouse can be laggy, slow and sluggish.

But throw in the multi-touch capabilities of my laptop, I can simply tap away using multiple fingers at a time and plough, plant and harvest my entire canvas of crops in a fraction of the time simply by not using the mouse cursor.

Flash doesn't support multi-touch just yet, but perhaps with the help of the iPhone popularity, it will soon be around the corner. But for gaming purposes, a single finger at a time is still far quicker than the mouse.

Is this the only practical use I have found for multi-touch computing? Perhaps so, yes.

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