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Matt's Blog

A Most Stupendous & Audacious Undertaking

My dream Wednesday night: The US government partners with Zynga
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Most people who know me know that I have strange dreams on a regular basis. 

Recently I had a dream in which Zynga, the creator of FarmVille and other social games, was hired by the US government to help properly motivate its citizenry.  

Obama had a televised statement to the effect of "In recognition of the power Zynga has displayed to motivate millions of Americans to do mindless repetitive tasks, we feel that they can be a valuable ally in helping our country be great."

In the dream, every small act of social good I did was rewarded with an obnoxiously cutesy achievement badge.  For example, after picking up a piece of litter off the ground, I received a "Novice Cleanliness Czar" text message as well as an actual patch in the mail the next day.  People had these patches on their clothing and on their house windows.  I remember allowing the "US Govt" app to make posts to my Facebook wall, which it did with astonishing regularity at seemingly trivial things.  Everyone was obsessed with playing little government games, memorizing sections of IRS tax code and local laws, reporting crimes in progress etc.    It was a weird modern version of a 1950s Pleasantville fantasy.

Really, I've never had a dream more reminiscent of an as-yet-to-be-written Onion article.