a very thoughtful essay by A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz about the potential woes of social gaming, calling into question whether Farmville is actually a game. He tries to do this by invoking Callois's definition of game, but, by that definition, one who plays organized sports is not necessarily playing a game either. And, semantics aside, it is an interesting thought that cultivation based games like Farmville have rather a lot in common with sports -- they both involve gradual improvement over time, they both involve time-based obligations, they are usually more work than fun, and they both involve social pressure to succeed in order not to let others down. Which makes me think that detractors of social games who say "no game that is not fun can survive very long" should perhaps take a moment to consider why organized sports are still going strong after six thousand years, or at least read this paper by Scott Rigby about why "fun" does not seem to be the key reason that people play games.
So -- in short, my opinion is that just because Farmville is not "fun" does not mean it will not survive. Instead, the sustained popularity of a "not fun" game may well mean we've found a new kind of gameplay, and woven one more strand into the mesh that is the Gamepocalypse.