PrivacyVille: Earn zPoints for reading Zynga policy

Ronny Kerr · July 7, 2011 · Short URL:

Latest Ville isn't really a game, but it looks like one and rewards users with real, usable points

Would you like to read some legal stuff like this:

Zynga develops and publishes social games including FarmVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker and others. In this policy, "Zynga" refers to Zynga Inc. and its Affiliates, which shall mean subsidiaries, parent companies, joint ventures and other corporate entities under common ownership. We may also refer to Zynga as "We" or "Us". Personal data of users that reside outside of the United States and Japan is jointly controlled by Zynga Game Ireland Ltd. and Zynga Luxembourg S.a.r.l.

Or, would you rather play a “game” that looks like this:

The text selection above is the introduction to Zynga’s privacy policy, written in legalese just so that nobody but a lawyer could or would read it. The screenshot, however, is the welcome screen for PrivacyVille, the aptly-named, gamified version of Zynga’s privacy policy.

Though it’s visually modeled after Zynga’s most popular title, CityVille, PrivacyVille isn’t really a game at all. One-by-one, little arrows hover over cartoon buildings, each of which addresses a fundamental component of the Zynga gaming experience, from payments to mobile to email and beyond.

Seasoned Web users may not find anything new here, as the social gaming company walks through explanations of how cookies are used to improve advertising, how email notifications can be disabled and how personal information can be shared with third-party partners.

After reading through the 10+ topics available, the reader can take a little quiz. If you answer five questions correctly, Zynga awards you 200 zPoints, redeemable at the company’s rewards site, RewardVille.

Though PrivacyVille isn’t going to win any gaming accolades anytime soon, the informational walk-through does stand a chance at actually encouraging Zynga gamers to read about how their personal data is being used. And for that, the social gaming company should be commended.

Last week, Zynga filed for its initial public offering, aiming to raise $1 billion. Following a enthusiastic round of social media IPOs and with revenue and profits growing at incredible rates, the company shouldn’t have trouble raising that much money.

Zynga and its investors are about to make a ton of money, so it’s satisfying to see them being transparent about users’ interests in PrivacyVille.

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Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users.  Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist.  The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel.  Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco.  For more information, please visit