Play FarmVille in Real Life, with MyFarm — Inspired by the success of FarmVille, a 2,500-acre Wimpole Estate farm in Cambridgeshire, UK will grant control to digital farmers over the web, says the Guardian. Dubbed the “MyFarm experiment,” up to 10,000 web users will be able make many of the decisions on what to grow, what livestock to buy, or even whether to “split fields to resurrect lost hedgerows.” Participation requires a £30 annual subscription.
Social Games for Improving Schools — According to VentureBeat, school network KIPP and test-prep startup Grockit are trying to apply social gaming mechanics to studies. Backed by Zynga’s Mark Pincus, Grockit is seeking to utilize elements such as badges, leaderboards, and rewards to create social game interaction for things such as SAT and ACT test prep.
Foursquare Creates Subscribe To It — The popular social location-based game of Foursquare has created a new service called “Subscribe To It” that costs a monthly fee of $1. Here’s the catch: This “premium” service doesn’t actually provide anything other than placing the subscriber’s name onto an arbitrary leaderboard.
i-Jet Media Expands its Social Games in Asia — Gamasutra reports that social games publisher i-Jet Media has expanded further into Asian markets having published its Wild West Trains and Airport titles on Vietnamese network Go.vn and its Farm of Happiness game on South Korean network Cyworld.
Renren Prices Initial Public Offerings — Chinese social network Renren has made its initial public offering of shares available. According to TechCrunch, they are priced at $14 a share, with a total offering size of $743.4 million. The shares have begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “RENN.”
New Social Game Company: Bossa Studios — A new London-based social gaming startup by the name of Bossa Studios launched last week at The Next Web Conference Startup Rally. The company is hoping to have its first title release within the next few months, starting with Facebook and following with Orkut, iOS, and Android. The company’s focus is to make games similar to those that current gamers grew up with. A full interview with the company can be found on The Next Web.
LOGIN Conference to Hold Facebook Game Developer Boot Camp — The annual LOGIN Conference in Bellevue, Washington has announced a day-long track called the “Facebook Game Developer Boot Camp,” starting May 18th. The track will include topics such as tools for virality, metrics, and monetization.
Zynga Co-Founder Blooked from Selling His $12 Million — After leaving Zynga last year, co-founder Andrew Trader has recently attempted to sell his $12 million share to Alpha Investment. Zynga, however, has blocked the sale stating that “former employees” can only sell stock 180 days after Zynga’s IPO, says Mercury News. Alpha Investment has since filed a lawsuit against Zynga in a Delaware court.