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Zynga: Oh, sure we copy other people's games

Zynga VP Dan Porter seems perfectly open that his company isn't entirely original. What a refreshing admission that there really is copying in the tech world.

Only 1.2 million playing right now?
Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are those who adore playing Zynga's online games.

What else are they going to do? Work? Live? Love? Naked handstands in public?

Yet somehow the fascination of managing your own farm for fun has never seemed entirely entertaining to me. It's always felt like a social carbuncle.

Zynga VP Dan Porter, however, managed to entertain Wednesday night at a panel discussion in New York.

As Quartz so helpfully reports, he offered this rather beautiful nugget of joy: "Zynga is often accused of copying games, which is mostly true."

Porter was clear to explain what he believes are his company's strengths: "What Zynga is really good at is managing a game as a live service."

Perhaps this refreshing confidence was bolstered by the recent news that Zynga and Electronic Arts had tired of suing each other.

But there's something rather charming about this attack of what appears to be sheer honesty.

As Picasso, Steve Jobs, and so many others attested, stealing is part of art, part of business and, sadly, even part of love.

Indeed, when you put art, love, and business together you get a potent mixture which requires a certain vision, consistency, and efficiency to make it successful.

Anyone looking at Facebook's redesigned News Feed yesterday would surely have immediately seen the inspiration of the pages at Google+.

If they'd ever been to Google+, that is.

But is Google+ so very original? Is the idea of pictures being big so very original?

Apple has always enjoyed pointing out that every last element of every last Apple product, store and, who knows, office floor is entirely original -- as long as you're looking at it through the eyes of Apple's management and lawyers.

The more technology advances, however, the easier it seems to be to copy -- piecemeal or wholesale -- someone else's work.

That doesn't necessarily make it right.

It does, however, make it blissfully uplifting when someone actually admits they're doing it.

I invite you to participate in my new online gaming company, which will be launching in a couple of weeks' time.

It's got games such as FarmValley, CityValley, and Words With People You Don't Even Have To Like.

My company is called Zonga.