Zynga Adds ChefVille to Repertoire of Social Ville Games

ChefVille allows players to manage their dream restaurants in virtual reality

The farms may have dried up and many crops may have died — in FarmVille that is. But the end of the harvest doesn’t mean that game creator Zynga is done planting their seeds in the virtual world.

To capitalize on the growing food trend, Zynga just created ChefVille, a virtual restaurant game on Facebook where players create, design, and manage their dream restaurants. ChefVille allows you to choose the restaurant’s cuisine concept as well as the menu items, and ChefVille friends that dine in your restaurant can give you new ingredients as well as money to buy more food.

Zynga is launching this game amidst a great deal of controversy. The company has recently reported underwhelming profits, employees have been accused of insider trading, and competitive game creator Electronic Arts is suing for idea theft. Zynga hopes to beat the odds, however, by introducing ChefVille and tapping into the growing population of food enthusiasts.

Read more: A History of Food and Video Games

What sets ChefVille apart from other virtual restaurant games is that users can upload real recipes to share with others. According to CNET, general manager Jonathan Wright said, “We're giving players a chance to take a 'snack break' from their day and connect online with friends, but also dish out real recipes that we hope serve as a catalyst for continued dining experiences with loved ones at home."

But can the virtual world really translate into real life experiences? Will game enthusiasts actually break away from their computers to cook up a real meal in the kitchen? Or will ChefVille addicts stare at their virtual menus with one hand on the keyboard and the other in an endless bag of potato chips?