Gameplay in Cow Clicker is insultingly simple — Bogost has described it as “Facebook games distilled to their essence.” Users obtain a cow on which they can click every six hours, and every time they click, they earn more opportunities to click their cow or their friends’ cows. Users can buy custom “premium” cows or buy their way out of the six-hour delay with the game’s currency, “Mooney” (Bogost claims that the coincidence with the last name of Zynga’s vice president is nothing more than sheer accident).
“It’s particularly easy to be a negative critic, to talk down about something from on high,” he says. “By making a game to deliver that message, I hoped it would be taken more seriously.” So while Cow Clicker is, in a nutshell, a criticism of the social game industry, “that’s not all it is,” he adds. “It’s also a social game! Which is counterintuitive, isn’t it?” —Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra
A good overview of the history and unexpected success of Bogost’s very postmodern anti-game.