In "Farm Rescue," Facebook Gamers Raise Chickens in Their Own Virtual Backyard
Animal Advocates Use Social Gaming as Cause Marketing Medium
(August 12, 2010) -- A new, free game by AnimalVisuals gives Facebook gamers a new perspective on farming. Prompted by the success of popular Facebook farming games and a recent resurgence in "backyard hen" keeping, AnimalVisuals has released the beta version of Farm Rescue. The game allows users to adopt chickens who were rescued from factory farms and nurture them back to health by helping them practice their natural behaviors.
The game's release comes just as a new study by Nielsen reveals that online gaming overtook email as the number two online activity. According to Nielsen, online gaming was only outranked by social networking.
The new game teaches users about the natural behaviors of chickens and enables users to send gifts to neighbors, invite friends and family to play the game, and take actions that help real chickens on factory farms. Players name their birds and help them perform behaviors like perching, nesting, dustbathing, exercising, and exploring - actions which birds are unable to engage in when confined in factory farm cages.
The more players help their hens practice their natural behaviors, the faster the birds recover and grow their feathers back. Users will watch as the birds transform from scrawny and miserable to bright-eyed, feathered birds. Once the hens regain full health, users can adopt them to good homes and earn virtual currency to be used in the game.
"As many Americans now raising backyard chicken flocks can attest to, hens are intelligent, sensitive animals with individual personalities" said Mark Middleton, the creator of the game. "Farm Rescue is a fun, interactive way for Facebook members to help save real chickens while spreading the word to their friends and family about the plight of egg-laying hens."