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You Will Not Escape Social Games

You Will Not Escape Social Games (photo)

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If you’re not addicted to “Farmville” and “Bejeweled” already, you could be the next victim.

By 2012, 68.7 million Americans, 29% of the total Internet connected US population, will be social gamers, projects a report from analysis firm eMarketer.

That number might shock those outside the industry who view video games within the rigid confines of “Madden” and “Call of Duty”. Social gaming however is an emergent market, one in which you might not even know you’re a participant.

For 2010, the firm estimates a total of 53 million US residents played social games. Facebook game “Mafia Wars” and iPhone game “We Rule”, like Windows’ “Solitaire” before them, attracted a non-traditional audience.

Interestingly enough, the 2012 prediction marks a slow down in social games’ growth.

eMarketer points to Facebook’s change in notification policy as a possible explanation. If you remember receiving a bombardment of pleas to join friends on “Farmville”, you have a feel for the old policy. Developers exploited the direct means of contact in the social network by rewarding players who invited friends to play the game with in-game items. More players would join at friends’ requests then invite others to join for their benefit, and so on, spreading a game’s reach like a virus.

The new rules allow users to contact only those friends already playing the game.

A shift in policy won’t stop social games, eMarketer says. Growth on platforms outside Facebook, they believe, shows a continuing positive trend.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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