Family Village Genealogy Game Now in Alpha Testing

thatched roof Want to have some fun, and work on your genealogy research at the same time? A genealogy related game called Family Village is now accessible through Facebook. It is currently in the alpha testing stage. You can use this game to help build your family tree.

Last time I wrote about the Family Village game it was in the process of doing whatever it is that is necessary in order for a game to appear on Facebook. If you are playing Farmville, or Frontierville, two incredibly popular and addicting games created by the Zynga game company, then you will have some idea of what the Family Village game looks like. It has cartoon-like graphics, and things you can click on and interact with, just like the Zynga games do.

However, one big difference is that Family Village is not just an amusing time waster, like the other games I mentioned have a tendency to be. Family Village, which is designed by Funium, is a game that incorporates genealogy research, and your family tree, into the game itself. The hope of Funium is that the Family Village game will help people to see that we are all one big family.

The game is now in it’s alpha stages, which usually means that it functions well enough for people to play it, but could still contain bugs, or other problems. If I remember correctly, Frontierville is in it’s beta testing phase right now, so it is not at all unusual for game companies to put their games onto Facebook in order to test them out.

Part of the game includes a city, with buildings, parks, and homes. There are little avatars, (or characters that look like people), living there. You start with yourself, and work on building your family tree. The avatars will represent people who are your relatives and ancestors in real life.

Your village will change to incorporate where your ancestors lived. The homes will reflect the place and time the ancestor lived, and you can connect to archives that will have fun information from that time period, (such as popular songs or nursery rhymes). So, if I include my Irish ancestors, their avatars could potentially be living in houses with thatched roofs.

The avatars in the game can take on jobs that the person who they represent may have held when he or she was alive. Another interesting aspect of this game is that it gives you access to a library where you can store your genealogy related information that you find in the game. These files can include colorful 3-D images, to make them more interesting.

Like other Facebook games, Family Village includes the potential for you to ask your friends and family who are on Facebook to join, and start playing, the game. The Family Village game has the capability of searching for other people who are related to you, and asking you if that person is your relative. The game sounds like a fun way to get people interested in genealogy who have never done it before.

Image by Roger Wollstadt on Flickr

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