Move over, Farmville. A genealogy-themed game is now available for play by the general Facebook population.
Family Village lets you create a pedigree chart (or input data from the FamilyLink Facebook app) and immigrate ancestors from the chart into your Family Village. You can outfit them in historical attire, assign them jobs, and build out the village with houses, landscaping and more (including heritage-related items like international flags and the Eiffel Tower).
The game also searches several websites for free genealogy records related to the information in your pedigree chart, and let you import those records into a family library. You can invite Facebook friends into your village to check out the library.
Partnerships with additional providers of genealogy records and other content are in the works, says Jeff Wells, CEO of Family Village developer Funium. He cautions, though, that the game is not a research tool.
You can play Family Village for free, with the option to spend actual cash (in the form of game dollars) on some of your ancestors purchases. For example, every ancestor gets a newspaper printed on the day he or she was born. Youll view the headlines, and you can buy a copy of the whole thing.
The game adheres to Facebook privacy standards, wells says, with privacy settings you can adjust.
Wells got the idea for Family Village when his family didnt share his excitement over his genealogical finds. We wanted to do something that would end up being a segue way for people who dont have the interest to get involved in family history, he says.
According to Wells, 300 million people play social games each month, and 3 to 4 percent of those players spend money on the games. Hes hoping genealogists spouses and teenagers will get interested in Family Village and learn more about their heritage.
Will you play Family Village? Do you think it’ll appeal to those already into genealogy, or will other people get hooked on it, too?