OWFI: Online, Wii, Facebook, iPhone Games

Review: YoVille (Free): Zynga, Facebook

Posted by Appgamr on June 24, 2009

Like home decoration?  YoVille on Facebook is for you.

Like home decoration? YoVille on Facebook is for you.

I’ve been following YoVille for about a year now.  Believe it or not, YoVille, the Facebook hangout, was founded by a lone guy entrepreneur in the middle of the country, Kansas or Illinois, I think.  Zynga, best known for Texas Hold’Em, acquired this budding, Facebook-distributed virtual world and YoVille has grown to several hundred thousand active users per month.

Second Life, Gaia Online, Habbo Hotel, Club Penguin are online hangouts of the same genre.  Notably, Club Penguin, acquired by Disney, is strictly monitored for safety and targets very young kids, ages 5 to 10.  All use Flash and cater to users who want to furnish their homes with graphic couches, antiques, rugs, furniture, pictures, tableware, and other home accessories.  Users also buy graphics of clothing, like sunglasses, T-shirts, and blouses.

These graphics, known as virtual goods, are bought and sold with real money.  Sometimes microtransactions or subscriptions is used to describe the practice of real people, paying real $5 to $50 per month, for graphics the size of thumbnails no one can see except in YoVille or another site.  Some virtual goods operators are reportedly clearing over $10M per month. YoVille targets tweens and women.  I’ve hung out there and met guys and gals (at least they say they are guys or gals, you have no way of knowing) from all over the world, like the UK, Venezuela, Norway.  You hangout, visiting different YoVille homes by walking around.  You can play easy games like tic-tac-toe or paper-scissors-rock with people.

I’ve heard of people meeting their spouses or at least the next night hook-up on these virtual worlds, where home decorating and online cruising are the main activities.

Compared with Gaia Online, YoVille used to have issues with slowness in loading scenes and images.  Unsure if this has been resolved.

Compared with the aforementioned online hangouts, YoVille is easy to sample and to rope in your friends to hangout with you, compete on home decoration, due to its Facebook distributed designs.

If you want to spend $5 to $50, enjoy meeting new people, and enjoy home decoration, YoVille is for you.


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