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Social Networks The Internet Entertainment Games

Facebook and the Merging of Games and Social Networks 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the world-of-pokecraft dept.
Gamasutra has an in-depth interview with Gareth Davis, Facebook's platform manager, about how social networks and online gaming are intersecting more and more as each industry matures. He says, "There's a cultural shift towards people being willing, excited, and preferring to use their real world identities online. We all know that 10 years ago, you were as anonymous as possible online, right? And today, we spend a lot of our time putting our real world identities out there and sharing them ... And we've seen this occur on Facebook.com, where as more and more people join Facebook and your social graph is more complete, you have the ability to have these social experiences with people you've never had before, and you're playing games with people whom you didn't play games with before, with your family members, with your parents, with friends in remote locations. There's this new gaming activity happening that we believe will translate to the consoles as well."
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Facebook and the Merging of Games and Social Networks

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  • Imagine that... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AMSmith42 (60300) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @07:06AM (#28666461)

    ...they are discovering that people who played games really aren't anti-social. They would much rather have fun with their family and friends rather than be locked in a room by themselves. You'd think that LAN parties would have been a hint.

  • Re:Imagine that... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @07:36AM (#28666567)

    I was impressed when the concept of achievements came out, providing a nice way to present the things you've done in games to others.

    I wasn't. I thought it was stupid. I still do. I don't care in the slightest whether my friends know what I've done in the game. If I thought it was that interesting I'd tell them. Most of the achievments in most games aren't things I'd find worth mentioning, and in most cases, calling them an 'acheivement' at all is bit of a stretch.

    As for steam, I'm not sold on their DRM, and there denial of my right of first sale, by calling my purchases "subscriptions" with a one time payment. And they certainly aren't going to win me over with some sort of achievement API.

    Persnally, I think the Wii gets it mostly right. Its online could be stronger, but I like that Nintendo isn't trying to become my "social platform" or whatever Sony/Microsoft are trying to do.

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @07:46AM (#28666597) Homepage

    "Holy crap we don't have a clue how we are going to make money out of this.... errr what about Games?.... err yes Games make lots of money and there are lots of people playing games and lots of people on Facebook.... Therefore we can CLEARLY make money from Games on Facebook"

    Its brilliantly undermined by the slight statement, just after saying "We've got more people that WoW" it then adds "errr but they don't pay". Later on it talks about monetisation and the wonderful "there will be new revenue streams" which as we all know really means "errr haven't worked that bit out yet.

    So lets all be clear, yes social connections (err where was the mention of the Wii attempt at this in the article?) will be important in a lot of future social gaming. Whether the social network is on Facebook or not doesn't matter as that network is just a graph, the key question is how you actually write games that make money out of it with Facebook (at best) becoming a utility, a SNSP (Social Network Service Provider), and unable to charge a large "tax" as the interop is getting higher.

  • by NickFortune (613926) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @07:53AM (#28666623) Homepage Journal

    There's a cultural shift towards people being willing, excited, and preferring to use their real world identities online.

    Why, gosh, yes. I'm excited. I bet you're excited too, children!

    We all know that 10 years ago, you were as anonymous as possible online, right?

    Right? Right? Right? We all know that, don't we kiddies?

    And today, we spend a lot of our time putting our real world identities out there and sharing them ...

    ... because that's how Facebook makes its money.... I mean that's what all the cool kids are doing. And you wouldn't want to feel left out, would you?

    And we've seen this occur on Facebook.com, where as more and more people join Facebook and your social graph is more complete, you have the ability to have these social experiences with people you've never had before, and you're playing games with people whom you didn't play games with before

    Whoa whoa whoa! When did all this happen? I'm still at the point of signing up so I can be like the cool kids. Can we back up a bit?

    with your family members, with your parents, with friends in remote locations.

    Yeah yeah yeah. Just another marketing drone practicing his second rate NLP language patterns. Nothing to see here...

  • Re:Imagine that... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo.gmail@com> on Sunday July 12, 2009 @08:00AM (#28666653) Homepage Journal

    My gal, however spends all her time trying to best all her friends (and second-degree friends) in brain teasers and restaurant simulations. The addition of competition raises her normal compulsiveness to new levels.

    So the social system works, at least for a certain subset of people.

  • Re:Imagine that... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @08:31AM (#28666775)

    So the social system works, at least for a certain subset of people.

    Yes, its a great waste of time. A bit of pointless fun is one thing, and I'm all for it. Hell I engage in lots myself; ./ included. But the end result of facebook for too many people is to become a slave to it... its got to be on your phone, and you've got to check it 100 times a day, and reply to all those 2nd degree friends...

    And at the end of the day, they've done nothing worthwhile, and have nothing but a bunch of superficial relationships, a collection of lolcats, and mastery of some idiotic flash game.

    The trouble with it, is that it "never sleeps". Its constantly poking you for attention, like those annoying electronic pets. So even when you've got something else to do, too many people can't put it down. At least with the pets the batteries die or you take them out. With facebook... its especially hard... because among that constant distractions there's some real people there too. Your best friend, or your mom, or whatever, so it becomes impossible to quit.

    Its like the way reality TV preys on some base human voyeuristic instinct. Most of us know its pointless rubbish and we could be doing anything else and it would be more worthwhile... and yet too many people can't look away, can't not watch.

  • Less Anonymous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thyamine (531612) <thyamine AT ofdragons DOT com> on Sunday July 12, 2009 @09:53AM (#28667043) Homepage Journal
    I think the being anonymous on a social networking site is opposite the idea. At least with something like Facebook, where the point is to reconnect with friends from school or family. And given that you no doubt want to be found by those people (and can refuse people who you don't want to have access to your information), it's not like you're going to obfuscate yourself to the point of being invisible. Now having said that, yes, some small number of people out there are still going to. And when I go to any other site needing information, I still use an alias/handle/username that isn't related to me except for those people who know that I always use the same one or two.
  • by Spyware23 (1260322) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @10:13AM (#28667103) Homepage

    http://xkcd.com/137/ [xkcd.com]

    Fuck. That. Shit.

  • Re:Imagine that... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Sunday July 12, 2009 @11:11PM (#28672173)

    Are we talking about facebook, most of the internet, sports, celebrity gossip, work*, TV (as you mentioned), or heroin, because to different people, that would apply to various degrees.

    Facebook is different from the internet, sports, celebrity gossip, etc.

    If I turn off the TV or stop looking at pron it doesn't start sending me messages asking where I was, why am I ignoring them, am I mad at them, why didn't I comment on their picture, or fill out their survey, or play their game.

    With TV etc the compulsion is just me... I might obsess over it, but if I can stop obsessing and master the urge its over. Its not like dozens of other people expect me to watch TV. But Facebook, like those annoying electric pets, or mmorpgs is a lot more 'addictive' because there is a social pressure to keep participating.

COBOL is for morons. -- E.W. Dijkstra

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