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Social Networks The Internet Games

The New Reality of Gaming 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-the-schools dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."
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The New Reality of Gaming

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  • Games such as the Sims, WOW, Eve Online, CoD etc all provide a level of social interaction and a simplistic view of real life. Everything from live action, social interaction, and economic activity are all there to play with. Basically, it's just another form of playground and lemon-aid stand to toy with. Given the demographics, why is this so hard to understand?

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      It's not, but saying you're the new lemonade stand is not as enticing to potential investors. It's got to be the next dimension or a new paradigm. That's when the venture capital starts to flow.
    • by uofitorn (804157)
      Your post says a lot without saying anything at all. What is your point?
      • by tomhudson (43916)

        Your post says a lot without saying anything at all. What is your point?

        So does the article. What do you expect from Forbes India? It's Forbes. Low-calorie pap, no real insights for anyone actually in the business, and an attempt to create a new meaning for the term svg - "sponsored virtual goods". as in "OMG IF I FILL IN ENOUGH SURVEYS I CAN GET TEH NEW VIRTUAL SHOES FOR FREE WOOT!"

        Riiiight. Idiots.

        Why yes, I did RTFA. Unfortunately. Waste of time.

    • Minecraft
      • I was just thinking about that. Imagine MMO minecraft with sufficiently large servers, a nicer chat system, and some kind of tie-in to an existing social network.

        • by totalg33k (970475)
          That sounds like Second Life.
          • ...with less flying penises, though.

            Really, it would be a lot like Second Life but with more terrain modification for a normal user and somewhat less scripting / arbitrary upload of data.

            Almost like what Atriarch claims to be working towards but with less RPG elements.

      • by damnfuct (861910)
        you mean minecrack
    • Re:Games = Play (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Monchanger (637670) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:14AM (#34473680) Journal
      To expand on "Games = Play" I have to suggest also that "Games != Work". I mean, please- "the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff" is something that should NEVER appear in the same sentence as "reality."

      FarmVille isn't backbreaking, only amazingly repetitive when you consider the player numbers. Your crops are guaranteed to sell, don't spoil unless you let them expire, and don't even a drop of rain. It's pure fantasy. SimFarm back in 1993 was much more a fun and realistic game. Zynga should have called it " FarmVille: SimFarm's Inbred Country Cousin" [wikipedia.org]

      Likewise for "hiring wait staff", which I assume never come in late or drop a single dish and work at 100% efficiency shift-long day in and out. Nor will they ever have a bad day and give you attitude or call out of work ten minutes after their shift starts. Again, it's not stressful the way work would be and should never be compared.

      Sure, being a farmer who can flood an infinite-demand market with chocolate milk that comes out of a cow pre-pasteurized, homogenized and packaged would be a less stressful job than yours. Unfortunately nobody has that kind of job.
    • by Gilmoure (18428)

      I think the allure of everyday games is that they offer a world with more control and less permanent consequences. I mean, if your SIM house burns down, you just build another one or restore from save. No biggie.

  • by oWj9*7!7dsggh7 (1952478) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:39AM (#34470514)
    You know, as a form of challenging relaxation, only coding and writing prose really satisfy me. I used to watch people playing Doom in the computer lab for hours and maybe days, but I could never get into it. Sim City was worse. Even among the geekish, I guess I'll never really fit in.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      How do you feel about nethack?

    • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @06:03AM (#34471288)

      Maybe you just haven't tried the right computer games. I admit to being addicted first to Wolfenstein 3D and then Doom when they were released, but they were very simplistic games and the graphics sucked. They were much better than the first computer games I played on my friends PDP11 though: Super Star Trek, Spacewar, and Colossal Cave. You didn't even like computer games as a child? I loved them, and they made me want to write some of my own. Even if you are highly intelligent there are some very challenging (pc) games out there. I guess the problem with any of them is that you don't really end up achieving anything by playing them. In that sense writing code or just writing is more satisfying. You end up with something to show for your efforts.

      • I guess the problem with any of them is that you don't really end up achieving anything by playing them. In that sense writing code or just writing is more satisfying. You end up with something to show for your efforts.

        Yes, that's one part of it - I hate the sensation of time spent without something going on. Listening to Beethoven or exercising doesn't give me that feeling, but playing computer games (when I was too young to understand myself) always did.

        However, what I really like about writing code or prose is the sensation that time outside of my mind is going more slowly than time inside. I struggle with some piece of construction for what seems like days; then I look up and only an hour has passed on the clock. Th

        • by spiralx (97066)

          You're talking about the concept of Flow [wikipedia.org] - "an activity [in which you are] fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity".

          • More than that, though. There are different kinds of flow, as judged by the different perceptions I have of time. I like the ones where experience-time is large and clock-time is small.

            Feel I'm getting a bargain, you know. Good investment.
  • Sandbox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wgaryhas (872268) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:43AM (#34470528)
    'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

    Sounds like a perfect description of Minecraft.
    • by omglolbah (731566)

      Was thinking the same thing...

      Mad fun for almost no money! :D

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You know, I've been trying to understand this in myself recently.

      I once had a raging WoWCrack addiction (but, let's face it.. if you've been there from close to the beginning, each new expansion seems more stale than the one before). Since finding Minecraft, my OCD definitely seems to favour the game with the crappy graphics.

      I'm grappling with the surprising find that I seem to enjoy creation games over destruction games. Perhaps Diablo III will shed more light on this puzzling find.

    • Sounds like a perfect description of Minecraft.

      I read it originally as "Sounds like a perfect description of Microsoft" and was laughing for a few seconds... till I realized my mistake. Oh well.

  • While it's not hard to see social games making huge amounts of money via a number of schemes, it's hard to see how in the near term they would turn out profits even close to the pay to play gaming market given that they have all the monetary avenues of the 'social' game but got the players to pay for the game as a start. It seems more likely that Massive Multi-player will become more social, more reachable and those games will easy away at the social games over time.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      F2P is actually quite profitable since it's easier to sink people in.
      "oh well it's free, I can just stop when I want"
      "ok I'm spending only ten dollars here and there, after all it's free."

      It all adds up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Razalhague (1497249)
      I find myself extremely reluctant to pay any additional fees if I've already paid for the base game.
      • Then you are one of the users who only benefit them in increasing the social value of the game to it's playerbase. I know I did pretty much what he was talking about with DDO, though I only bought "permanent" things, like access to races/classes.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@hacki s h . o rg> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:54AM (#34470592)

    Perhaps gender has something to do with it, but it seems likely to be more complex than this narrative of, "well most gamers used to be boys, who love dragons and shooting things, but now most gamers are girls who love cooking food and growing crops". (Actually, isn't farming a traditionally male occupation, anyway?)

    The biggest confounding factor is that the technology setting is completely different. It's not very easy to put Doom inside Facebook in a way that makes any sense or gets people coming back. Facebook lends itself to games that need a little bit of interaction here and there, several times a day perhaps, but easily interruptible. People also seem to like it when stuff happens when they aren't playing, because it keeps them coming back to see what's changed. That style of gameplay naturally lends itself to "some mostly mundane stuff in the real world" types of games. You plant some crops, and over a few hours they grow, and you come back periodically. Your restaurant gets some customers coming in and out. You move your tow truck around to find cars who parked too long. That sort of thing.

    • The biggest confounding factor is that the technology setting is completely different. It's not very easy to put Doom inside Facebook in a way that makes any sense or gets people coming back.

      Not that Doom is anything but one game in one genre of games.
       

  • Divided by genre (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Palmsie (1550787) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:54AM (#34470594)
    Sure more females are using the Internet and now with Facebook, every game seems like something novel when in fact it isn't. Simply because new gamers are entering the population doesn't mean they ARE the population. We see paradigm struggles even today with more veteran gamers. Blizzard is pushing for a more difficult version of WoW with their new expansion and you have games like Super Meat boy introducing extreme levels of difficulty into gameplay that goes well beyond the mentality of catering to the casuals. More casual gamers are merely being exposed to games. We saw people play Farmville because they didn't know what video game grinding was, so it seemed new and exciting, or games like Bejeweled or Angry Birds. These are old ideas, repackaged in new mediums. If anything, games like Minecraft and Meat Boy are a breath of fresh air with sandbox games and/or extreme difficulty games becoming more popular. While it may be true that casual games are gaining momentum, I wouldn't bet on that shifting the entirety of gaming. Rest a sure, we haven't seen the last of video games that blow up aliens or cherish WWII heroism. Another point to keep in mind is that casual players may not have the same retention or activity rate as more hardcore gamers, which is more important when you have games that introduce micro transactions rather than subs.
    • Blizz is doing what? Surprises me since I am not buying Cata due to them simplifying and homogenizing the classes and making the game too easy. Not to mention they broke PvP class balance. Now I am just playing XP-off BGs with my lowbies and farming on my mains. Figure once I level my alts, other than my XP-locked PvP toons, I might buy Cata. But until then, I am not.
      • I'm not sure how making it so that you aren't absolutely required to bring class X to your raid or else you are now at a severe handicap is making the game too easy? They mostly evened out the tanking and healing tools available, and are trying to get most DPS specs performing similarly, specifically so you don't have "I'm sorry, but druids aren't allowed to tank anymore because they don't have $TANKING_TOOL_X, and $TANKING_TOOL_Y that is unique to druids isn't important this tier".

        They're bringing back th

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        Yeah... WOTLK reached a level of ease that a group of semi-concious troglodytes could beat almost every fight in the game.

        Cata can't and won't fix it. The problem is that the game has been too easy for too long. It started OK. Buuut now the player base is a bunch of idiots that are terrible at video games. If they restore the difficulty to like... some reasonable level they'll lose too many players.

        This is a problem plaguing the whole industry. The pool of players has grown, the vast majority of the grow
    • In short, casual gaming means more and different people may be playing, but it shouldn't override, dilute, or replace the hardcore games. They should be able to co-exist, side by side, appealing to different audiences.

      (And I have a confession to make--I love a good FPS, RPG, or racing game as much as the next guy {well, girl}, but I love me some Angry Birds. Addictive!)
  • the real truth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:06AM (#34470652)
    I think people like me seriously got way too good at doing anything video game related as far as old school ones go. I'm a Mario Kart and pod racing diety, can shoot anything with anything you put in my virtual hands, and will be optimized at any RTS game in minutes. People just got far too good at tradition video games so they had to make them more open ended and "complicated" while actually making the actions simpler.
    That and the fact that most "gamers" now aren't gamers. Not many people originally were so they dumbed it down to bring in people who wouldn't have classified themselves as video game enthusiasts before. Now they outnumber hardcore gamers so it looks like tastes have changed while in reality it's the audience that changed.
    • by 0111 1110 (518466)

      Ah, but how are you at classic games like Star Trek [wikipedia.org]? You seem to regard the only point of playing a computer game to be beating the game. How about playing a computer game that is actually fun to play? In that case it doesn't matter how good you are at playing the game.

    • Then let me introduce you to Touhou Project http://youtu.be/mpuo2rWVskw [youtu.be]

      I dare you.

  • -And this time next year, Rodney, -we'll be millionaires!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by buruonbrails (1247370)
      The funny thing is, most "social games" developers prefer playing FPS, strategies or RPGs themselves, but design their social games as dumbed down as possible, so that they're accessible by the stupid masses. Why? Cause that's where the money is.
      I didn't believe the statistics until I developed a couple of social games as a side projects. The most profitable players are mid-aged women. This holds true even for games where the vast majority (over 80%) of active players are male. It's not uncommon for a mid
  • Likewise, someone who plays games it not a "gamer." Just like not everyone who swims is a swimmer, sings is a singer, etc. If everyone who played games WAS a gamer, then the first gaming revolution was with solitaire. Just look at all those gamers there in those cubicals! Me? I'm a gamer. I play it all, solitaire, minesweeper, little farmville, I even go low-tech with some sudoku ever now and then. I am all 'bout that!
    • by glwtta (532858)
      Seriously? You're going to treat "gamer" as some badge of honor now? Gamers play games, it's not that hard a club to break into.

      And a lot of the people dicking around on Farmville spend more time doing it than they do at their jobs; yeah, they're "gamers". Hell, I spent more than a few Friday nights in high school with a two-liter of Mountain Dew and Caesar III, I don't see how this is fundamentally different (disclaimer: I haven't actually played Farmville at any point, maybe it is).
      • The difference is that Farmville is basically the grindy parts of an MMO without any of the other parts?

        I only play one web game myself, and even I acknowledge it can get grindy, but it really seems to hit the sweet spot for me: Billy vs SNAKEMAN (http://www.animecubed.com/billy/?76006).

        • by glwtta (532858)
          The difference is that Farmville is basically the grindy parts of an MMO without any of the other parts?

          There are MMOs that have non-grindy parts?
          • I would argue that new content the first time or two through isn't really grindy, especially if it's novel and there are enough equally valid options to offer a real choice in what to do. I actually think that's the route Blizz is trying to go with raiding, or at least provide the illusion of by having shorter raids in more diverse environments as opposed to something with a dozen-ish bosses that must be done in some nearly linear order.

            Mario Kart doesn't feel like your "grinding races", but it probably wo

          • by tycoex (1832784)

            Guild Wars. And soon to be, Guild Wars 2.

      • by grumbel (592662)

        Gamers play games, it's not that hard a club to break into.

        If you define the word that way, sure, doesn't change the fact that there are completly different kinds of gamers.

        Farmville is to regular games basically what teleshoping is to blockbuster movies, both put pictures on the screen, yet completly different.

    • playing games != gaming

      Of course.

      Gamers are people who play table-top RPGs face-to-face with real people.

    • by tycoex (1832784)

      This makes perfect sense to me.

      Just because you took one semester of Guitar class and learned how to play a couple songs with G, D, and C chords, doesn't make you a"guitar player." Just because you sing along with the radio in your car, does not make you a singer.
      Just because you cook mac n' cheese out of the Kraft box does not make a cook.
      And just because you play an easy, stripped down, video game once in awhile, does not make you a gamer.

      • by brillow (917507)
        I agree especially about the guitar playing. I am friends with a lot of musicians, people who study music seriously and academically and have degrees in performance. They are always annoyed by frat-types who can play 5 chords and call themselves "musicians."
  • Take your reality based @#$% and !@#$ off. DO NOT WANT. If you want to market to girls who want to play reality tv style games, go for it, but leave my games alone. I want to learn to fly like a fighter pilot on a realistic sim. I want to rescue the princess. I want to slog my way up a beach in a WWII where I kill nobody the only consequence if I fail is restarting the level. You take your Sims and Farmville and Pet simulator and @#$@ off.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Take your reality based @#$% and !@#$ off. DO NOT WANT. If you want to market to girls who want to play reality tv style games, go for it, but leave my games alone. I want to learn to fly like a fighter pilot on a realistic sim. I want to rescue the princess. I want to slog my way up a beach in a WWII where I kill nobody the only consequence if I fail is restarting the level. You take your Sims and Farmville and Pet simulator and @#$@ off.

      Objectively there is no greater or lesser value in playing fighter pilots compared to playing at looking after a pet or a farm.

      • Subjectively I think you missed the point.

      • by syousef (465911)

        Objectively there is no greater or lesser value in playing fighter pilots compared to playing at looking after a pet or a farm.

        Objectively you can't compare 2 whole genres for a vague term like "value". You could potentially compare specific simulators or games with specific criteria. None of which is what I was talking about. I just don't want the games I love to be tossed aside as yesterday's garbage, when I get plenty of pleasure out of them today.

    • by Peeteriz (821290)

      Well, the situation is that you are in the minority and always will be - the general population has now been introduced to networked gaming through facebook; and they and their wallets outnumber 'true gamers' 100-to-1, so they will get priority attention and developer resources, and you will get the remains or @#$@ off (or develop it yourself, 'by gamers for gamers' style).

    • Take your reality based @#$% and !@#$ off. DO NOT WANT. If you want to market to girls who want to play reality tv style games, go for it, but leave my games alone. I want to learn to fly like a fighter pilot on a realistic sim. I want to rescue the princess. I want to slog my way up a beach in a WWII where I kill nobody the only consequence if I fail is restarting the level. You take your Sims and Farmville and Pet simulator and @#$@ off.

      Saying that Farmville is actually like managing a farm is like saying

  • Gamers??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Um having a facebook account and dinking around on farmville doesn't make you a gamer. It makes you a facebooker with too much time on your hands.
    • by MadKeithV (102058)
      It also makes the owners of Facebook and Farmville very, very rich, so I don't think they care very much if their wide demographic fits your particular definition of "gamer".
    • Re:Gamers??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by initialE (758110) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:41AM (#34471226)

      Definitions change. Used to be a computer was a guy who did math. And a nurse was a woman who offered breast milk for sale.

      • Pasteurized or not? Whole, low fat, or fat free? Homogenized or not?
      • Add ads to that -- these games bring in tons of revenue ... who cares what they are to the companies that make them. Sure they don't have the competitive complexity of Starcraft 2, Counterstrike, etc. (games which are becoming more like sports at higher levels), but to some people they are fun. Isn't that the general goal?
    • Re:Gamers??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:56AM (#34472056)
      Sitting in front of a TV and mashing buttons doesn't make you a gamer either, pal. Grab some friends and an Axis and Allies board and play a real game.
      • by Binestar (28861)
        The original Axis And Allies is so misbalanced. I'm not allowed to be germany anymore in our games due to it being impossible to stop germany without extremely lucky rolls on the part of Russia to start the game. We've defaulted to giving the Russian capital 2 extra men to (help) counter the quick (2nd turn) decapitation strike at Russia that Germany can do.
  • And gaming for this "old" set of gamers is more and more about replaying the old stuff they still have in the closet, since the newer games with "breathtaking graphics" etc seem to be lacking this thing that used to be hugely important "when I was young" (I'm not old by any means, not even close), you know "gameplay". Mainstream game mechanics get simpler and simpler, resulting in less and less challenge and less and less replayability.

    And that's not even mentioning how we're being treated as cash cows and

    • There are still many games that aren't made for the Wii/Facebook crowd, they're just a small minority. The Stalker series definitely doesn't have simple gameplay, there's no player hand-holding, and the first game had a top-notch storyline, Mirror's Edge has complex gameplay, the Just Cause series are regular sandbox/3rd person action games that definitely aren't dumbed-down, DMC4 and Prototype are some recent 3rd person action games which also have RPG elements, (Prototype has good replayability, and DMC4

    • by FreonTrip (694097)

      I won't put on airs: the gameplay mechanics in the run 'n' gun action games of my childhood aren't brainmelting. Success in games like the NES Mega Man titles, Contra, and Gunstar Heroes wasn't predicated on all that much besides fast reflexes and pattern recognition. They aren't high art, but what I'd love to see is a game with that spirit of gameplay that was fall-down funny, or - dare I suggest it? - had a story line worth pursuing, with dialogue choices and some forking plot points that led you in dif

  • With HYPER-INFLATED reality TV! Now with three spinoffs about Flava Flav!
  • Casual games are designed to waste the people's life and money away not to be amazingly enjoyable. They're a grind that at first give a sense of accomplishment. I've played some before and after a few months, I looked back and went "wow that was a waste of time and my life." I'm not saying there won't always be new people to suck in or that some people will never realize how life sucking casual games are, but right now they are peaking. They have hit a fresh market of users that do not realize how much
  • Wheres the fun (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tripp-phpBB (1912354) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @04:53AM (#34471068)

    Funny, I was just discussing this with a friend recently. I used to game a lot when I was younger and got out of it for quite sometime other then playing a few PC games. I recently got a PS3 and although the graphics and everything else in new games is awesome, I felt like I was missing something. What I noticed was games seem and feel too real these days. To an extent, that's what we've always strive for it to make games more real and exciting but have we passed a point? I love Call of Duty but at the same time I feel like too much is going on and at some point I just wanna shoot some sh*t and be happy. Games are supposed to let you zone out and have fun and I feel as if this is hard sometimes when you make games with physics resembling real life. I want to take a turn down a street at 90 MPH without braking or hitting a wall.

  • Housewives and little girls play World of Warcraft. Subscribers: over 12 million. 90% of the ones signed up as female are male, but about half the players are female. Did I just blow your mind?

    Also, Cataclysm dropped 1 hour ago.

    FOR THE HORDE!!!

  • Does it mean men are more aware of reality?
    We don't play farm or walk your dog games, because we know that we can just do all this things in the real life. Having virtual farm is pointless if you can have a real one. And more important - what fun is doing chores?!
    Fighting the aliens is something completely different. Video games are the only way to do this. And it's real fun :)

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Having virtual farm is pointless if you can have a real one.

      So I guess you don't play military shooters either because you could join the real army? Just because you could do something in real life, doesn't mean it is practical or worth the effort. Let alone the fact that most games portraying "real-world" activities have as much to do with the real world as an alien shooter.

      And more important - what fun is doing chores?!

      This [wikipedia.org], this [escapistmagazine.com] and this [rice.edu] link explain quite well why the chores of FarmVille are "fun".

      • Having virtual farm is pointless if you can have a real one.

        So I guess you don't play military shooters either because you could join the real army?

        In principle, I think I agree with your point, that the fantasy can be more appealing than reality even for things you *could* do, but joining the military is a pretty dramatic example. In a military shooter, you can be a mega-badass without having to go through grueling training, be shipped off overseas, spend most of your time not actually fighting, and then finally get killed for real by a sniper you never saw or a bomb no one detected in time. At least with something like Farmville, many of the player

  • Heres a comic i read a while ago that seemed very related to this topic and hilarious by itself.

    http://static.vgcats.com/comics/images/090423.jpg [vgcats.com]

  • 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.'

    Games like those described may seem to be about reality on the surface, but they're actually more about escapism than ever before. What players are escaping from is chaos: a world where the rules are unknown, or at least imperfectly understood. In comparison, games have relatively simple, consistent rules to master, and a mastery over those rules gives the player a feeling of power and, by extension, the impression that the game world is "more fair." This is accentuated in a game that takes place in a re

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @07:44AM (#34471710)

    Stupid, fluffy escapism gets big.

    "Fred and Ginger" for ninety minutes beats focusing on the gnawing hunger in your gut.

    'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,'

    You mean like Life? And isn't there a money component to these games as well? Like, if you have cash, you can leapfrog the third world?

    The only difference is that the dangers are imaginary and the rewards are fake. But the energy wasted is quite real.

    -FL

    • I used to be into gaming much more than I am now, but I think it was depression. I started figuring, if these online achievments give me a small self worth boost, imagine getting a real life achievement completed. You know... goals. So I set a goal to learn python, downloaded some ebooks, read the online python manuals, coded an applet for my usb modem with pygtk, stuck it on google code and a couple hunded other people downloaded it aswell. IMMD. Right now though my goals are stuff like, "Give my sons a re
  • Who're? (Score:4, Funny)

    by elsurexiste (1758620) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:57AM (#34472066) Journal

    [...] grandparents who're new to the Internet,[...]

    Seriously, "who're"? That must be the worst abbreviation ever. :P

  • The female and casual market is an addition to the games market, not a replacement. No one is going to throw away their Xbox 360 in favor of Farmville.

    • The female and casual market is an addition to the games market, not a replacement. No one is going to throw away their Xbox 360 in favor of Farmville.

      Perhaps not throw away. They might not buy an Xbox 360 to upgrade their older Xbox, because computer games fill that need for less money.

  • "Different games attract different people."

    No shit.

    http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=280 [vgcats.com]

  • The "princess rescue" type games still exist. I'm currently playing Kirby's Epic Yarn. The basic story is that Kirby is sucked into a "yarn-world" thanks to a magical, yarn-based bad guy with plans of taking over Kirby's world. Kirby and the entire world around him look like they're just threads, buttons and fabric. The gameplay is fantastic and not realistic at all. I can't remember the last time I was confronted by someone so I grabbed them, pulled at a loose thread and watched them rip apart into un

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Nor are they a completely new form of gaming: SimCity, ring a bell?

      While SimCity and FarmVille have some similarities on the surface, they really don't have all that in common once you dig a little deeper. FarmVille basically has no simulation driving the world, instead it has an extremely simple set of mechanics: click once to plant a crop, return a few real-world hours later to farm it, if you don't return in time, the crop will weather and you have to restart the planting process. This means you basically need zero skill other then regularly checking the gameworld for u

      • Ah, thanks. I've never played FarmVille, so I kind of assumed that it was like SimCity and required some form of skill beyond "The Ability To Check In At A Certain Time." Silly me.

  • by Software Geek (1097883) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:43PM (#34475144)

    A few years back I read almost exactly the same article, but about deer hunting games.
    Where once gaming had been dominated by wizards and space aliens, games about deer hunting for the redneck market had come out of nowhere to be the top seller. There were just so many more rednecks than computer geeks. And the rednecks, being new to gaming, were happy to play games with extremely low production values.

    This is the same thing, but with girls instead of rednecks, and social networking instead of deer hunting.

    It is all a natural transition from games by computer geeks for computer geeks to games by computer geeks for anyone with disposable income.

  • I disagree with the idea that people don't care about graphics, plot, etc. My wife started playing games with things like The Sims, but she has grown as a gamer and now plays things like Mass Effect, Fallout 3, and Starcraft 2. She loves the graphics almost as much as the story line. That's not to say casual games like Plants vs. Zombies aren't enjoyable, but for the longest time my wife believed the blockbuster games would be too hard to play and just watched me. The VATS system in Fallout 3 made it mu

  • Eve Online at www.eve-online.com is exactly as you say " a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results" in eve.. you do have to level up, but it has a real world economic structure in the market where an individual person can have trillions worth of assets and steal or destroy thousands of dollars worth of asses in real world equivelent value download the video here >> http://www.eveonline.com/download/videos/Default.asp?a=download&vid=269 [eveonline.com] . I'm really suppr
  • Girls/Women buy stuff, sometimes without proper cause or consideration of effect. Therefore advertisers target them. Why would a company that markets games be any different?

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