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Playmatics Secures $1 Million For 'Real-World' Social Game

Playmatics Secures $1 Million For 'Real-World' Social Game

April 21, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

New York City-based developer Playmatics has raised $1 million from several Swiss-based angel investors to build Shadow Government, a "real world" social game.

Shadow Government is "based on the gamification of real countries, systems, and worldwide events," allowing players to build, manage, and destroy virtual nations. Playmatics has teamed up with government-modeling software developer Millennium Institute for the project, according to TechCrunch.

Along with those simulation tools, which have been used by organizations to test responses for real-world events, Playmatics is using economic and sustainability data to create Shadow Government. The Millenium Institute hopes the educational game will eventually be incorporated into school curricula.

Founded two years ago, Playmatics has launched several online titles, including games for Disney's The Kingdom Keepers books, AMC's Breaking Bad TV series, and the New York Public Library. It has 15 employees, including CEO Margaret Wallace, CCO Nick Fortugno, and CFO Phillipe Trawinka.

"We see Shadow Government advancing a future genre in gaming," said Wallace. "It's not a 'serious game,' really, because we aim to design an entertainment experience. People can use Shadow Government to destroy their own little country, or to wreak havoc where they can."

"We will be able to incorporate real world news and data, sometimes in real-time. We could take a different world-focus [with the game content] depending on what is going on in the world, asking players to create scenarios around the crisis in Japan, or the conflict in Libya, for example."

She added, "Seeing how people play, in aggregate, will be one way of crowd sourcing ideas to help or predict systemic issues."

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