Zynga focuses on privacy in run-up to IPO

It looks like Zynga is polishing up the proverbial silver in the run-up to its planned IPO.

On Thursday, the San Francisco-based social gaming company is launching “PrivacyVille,” a new game-like tutorial that rewards users with zPoints, Zynga’s virtual currency, for learning more about the company’s privacy practices.

According to Zynga, PrivacyVille is modeled after CityVille, the company’s most popular game. The tutorial is centered on Zynga’s privacy policy and also includes resources to teach users about controlling their information online.

The timing of the PrivacyVille launch, less than two weeks after Zynga filed documents for a $1 billion initial public offering, is probably no coincidence. Today’s big Internet companies such as Google ¬†(s GOOG)and Facebook are constantly criticized for perceived privacy violations, and potential Zynga investors want to be assured that the company is serious about its own data protection. In fact, Zynga’s S-1 mentions the word “privacy” no fewer than 25 times, mostly in relation to the potential risks a privacy breach would have on its valuation.¬†PrivacyVille is a unique –albeit slightly hokey — way for Zynga to show Wall Street that it is taking the issue seriously.

Here are some screenshots of PrivacyVille: