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Gaming company Funium took $1.8 million in seed money to spur the completion of its latest game, Family Village.

In Family Village, players create a virtual world with members of their actual family. Players use the names of their family members and can upload relevant documents and photos. From there, players then design avatars based on their ancestors’ physical attributes and the time period in which they lived. These characters can then build businesses and homes, move across country, change jobs, get married, have children, and so on.

The game adapts to each era and generation. Avatars in the 1920s sport flapper dresses, while ancestors from the colonial era will wear breeches and tricorn hats. The game’s scenarios are as historically accurate as possible and uphold the apparel, architecture, and social mores of any given time period. The players, on the other hand, can stick to documented events or rewrite history as they choose.

It’s like the Sims hacked your family tree.


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The game is also a way to discover more about your ancestry. Family Village has access to over 3.6 billion records and players can earn historical documents about their family as rewards.

“Our objective was to create games with a social objective outside of the game environment,” said CEO Jeff Wells. “It is a feel good game that brings the family together. One of the biggest issues in our society is that the family unit is dissolving. We are connecting people with their past and bringing families together.”

The game has taken 18 months to build because it involves researching and implementing a tremendous amount of historical data. Funium raised $1.2 million in 2011 to build the game, which became available in pilot mode in June. Today’s injection will help bring deploy the game. It’s designed for gamers and grandmas alike.

The investment was led by Family Odyssey with participation from angel investors. Funium is based in Utah.


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