Starting late last week, Farmville players are now able to hire immigrant workers for their farms.
According to an announcement on the Farmville website, “Players can click on a sombrero icon in the Farmville Marketplace and hire Mexican immigrants for very affordable wages to help pick fruit, landscape, build tool sheds and perform various other labor intensive jobs.”
“We have a diverse user base, with players from all around the world,” said Zynga CEO Mark Pincus at a press release. “As a tribute to our Mexican players, we wanted to acknowledge the contribution of Mexican workers to our society.”
Pincus went on to say that the immigrant workers feature was only the beginning of a campaign to reach out to multiple cultural groups.
“We have a special surprise coming for Black History Month, when farmers can look forward to some special live-in guests to help with cotton farming.”
When asked about other upcoming features, Pincus added, “depending on the voting results for Prop. 19, we might have a new limited edition crop in the works, as a tribute to white, unemployed 20-somethings who live in their parents’ basement.”
However, not everyone is pleased with the recent additions to Farmville.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has condemned the new immigrant workers feature. “This is an outrage! The [digital, non-existent] workers in the game are not earning enough [digital, non-existent] money to pay minimal living expenses.”
Trumka has called for widespread boycotting of the game until Farmville raises the workers’ wages.
Other critics cite a different issue with the new feature. Many Farmville players are worried that these immigrant workers will be stealing their jobs. Said one unemployed Arizona resident, “We used to pick the crops ourselves, and now these illegal immigrants are doing it at prices we just can’t compete with.”