"Farmville," the innocent social network game made popular by Facebook and created by the company Zynga, lets players get points by cultivating their farms and rearing animals. The company has dabbled into other "villes" and games, but Farmville is arguably its most notable. On Wednesday though the company launched another social game with a not so innocent activity included.
According to Zynga executive producer David Gray, when someone is in your house and you begin to interact with them, you can level up by interacting with them in ways that the game sees as romantic. As you climb the experience tree, you eventually unlock the capability to initiate the "happiness home run," or just "whoopee," as Gray called it in an interview.
When you do so, the two characters begin to disrobe on-screen (not completely, though) and the bed in the virtual bedroom gets covered, briefly, with little floating hearts.
Then it's over. Congratulations.
While you can have virtual sex in The Ville, you cannot yet get virtually married. And there are no virtual consequences, like children. Some pro-family groups are bound to take issue with that.
Watch the trailer for the game:
Even with this adult activity, the game is not age restricted. Given that it is played via a Facebook login -- and Facebook users technically need to be 13 or older -- those younger than 13 should conceivably not be allowed to access the game.
CNET describes this game as a borderline dating app. When you interact with people in their The Ville environments, you do have the option of seeing the person's actual Facebook profile as well. But Zynga's Senior Vice President of Product Development Mark Skaggs told CNET that the "romantic" aspect of this is only a small part and not the focus of the game.
"The inspiration really does come from the dollhouse genre and from YoVille [Zynga's first "ville" game]," Skaggs said to CNET. "We're trying to come at it from a wholesome point of view."
According to the press release, The Ville gives players the opportunity to "become the ultimate home designers and express themselves in the way they decorate their homes." Socializing with friends and "earning happiness" is how players advance to "unlock new decorations, social objects and advanced relationship interactions with their friends."
(H/T: CBS Local)