My Farm Experiment (not affiliated with the Zynga game) in the UK lets players run an actual farm on the Wimpole Estate, which is owned by the National Trust, a British charity. Some 10,000 people will help farm manager Richard Morris run things. Here’s the catch, though: It’s not free. It costs £30 (about $49) to become a virtual farmer. That payment goes to the National Trust.
Project manager John Alexander told The Guardian that FarmVille was an inspiration for the effort. Coincidentally, Zynga introduced an English Countyside extension of the game in March.