The other keynote on Thursday at GDC Austin homed in on the growing collusion between Web 2.0 site and online gaming, with an examination of the wildly successful Habbo Hotel
by world creator Sulka Haro. Habbo
is more of an online hang-out space than a game, thought it does have many game elements. The service grew from humble origins to now offer a home to almost 7.5 Million unique users per month
. From Gamasutra's coverage: "Globally, the game attracts around 51% boys and 49% girls. '13-16 seems to be the predominant age group we're getting.' But in different territories the story may be different. For example, in Japan there are a lot of younger kids playing, but there's also a hardcore cadre of housewives who play in their own cliques. When it comes to the U.S., Haro posited, 'I guess in the States the tipping point is when you get your driver's license and you can actually go somewhere to meet people.' A big concern of Habbo players is to create a private space where their parents don't know what's going on -- and this extends to when they get in trouble."