Defense contractor helps launch CyberVille game to recruit HS students

CyberVille by the Air Force Association
Hey, it's got the 'Ville, the font style, and the FarmVille colors! So I know what you're thinking, but no, CyberVille isn't another Zynga title. It is, however, exclusively on Facebook and has a fairly prestigious pedigree, one that you'd never guess if not for the "Sponsored by NORTHROP GRUMMAN" caption at the bottom of the load screen. (Northrop Grumman is a global aerospace and defense contractor that builds a lot of military hardware -- y'know aircraft carriers and stealth bombers -- for the US government.)
CyberVille Nano
Other founders of the game include the non-profit Air Force Association (AFA), and game developer, AvatarLabs. It was AFA who wanted CyberVille made, so they could use the game to promote their CyberPatriot program. This makes CyberVille an advergame, but it's also a wonderfully solid tower defense game (think PopCap's Plants vs Zombies) geared towards newbies and high schoolers. AFA President and CEO, Michael M. Dunn, had the right idea when he wrote the following:

We could have generated a training program (which we think would attract very few users). We chose instead to make this game something many, many people (we hope many, many thousands) will want to share. We want it to be the Farmville of cyber, and our success will be measured by how many people we draw to the game and how many of those people "click-through" to our CyberPatriot website.

So far, CyberVille appears to live up to those goals. The game is very simple to play, very casual, and it never asks for your money or shoves pop-up windows at your face. It launched July 15th and had some lagging issues, but those appear to be fixed now.
CyberVille green virus bob threat
Click here to play CyberVille on Facebook now >

[Hat-tip: PR Newswire]
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