Zynga, the developer of the titanic social game FarmVille, have released a brand new game on Facebook last week titled FrontierVille. The best way to sum up this game is FarmVille meets Oregon Trail. It’s one of the deeper and more complicated Facebook games thus far; while playing FrontierVille you almost feel as if you’ve been whisked off to some remote location in the woods during the simpler times. The game has quests, combat (though rudimentary), farming, crafting, avatar customization, co-op mechanics, building, and more. It’s actually a lot of fun, and I suggest everyone give it a try if you’re looking for another time waster!
Anyway, the game starts out with a quest to find your spouse. Your spouse is sending you frequent letters, asking you to partake in chores around your farm to “prepare” the homestead for his or her arrival. This includes everything from making breakfast, building your spouse a store, clearing a path, and even crafting fancy clothing for your wedding. When the time comes for the “big day”, you are prompted to customize your spouse. You can name your spouse whatever you would like, customize their appearance, and select which gender you wish your spouse to be.
This is a big step forward in social games. While it would probably be more complicated for the developers to detect your avatar’s gender and only allow you to pick a spouse of the opposite sex, we wouldn’t have been surprised if this were the case. And while the game doesn’t actually support same sex marriage fully (the wall post to announce your marriage talks about the bride and groom, as pictured below) we still think it’s fabulous that we’re allowed to pick the gender of our spouse. Zynga – take the next step and revise your wall post to be gender neutral!