Social networking sites have changed the way people use the internet. People who hardly send emails have opened Facebook accounts and are using different methods to interact and entertain themselves. Social gaming seems to be gathering steam among the youth. Earlier games like “Counter Strike” used to be played in gaming parlours across the city, but that was soon replaced with online games such as “Texas Hold Em Up Poker”, “Mafia Wars” and “Farmville”, to name a few. The social factor has managed to rope in people who have never ever played an online or computer game in their lives.
Clyde Fernandes, creator of theblogfullofgames.com said, “Everyone on Facebook gets requests from friends asking them to become a neighbour on “Farmville”, or help them assassinate the Cuban boss in “Mafia Wars” or join them on the poker table. Social gaming is a new trend that has tapped into a wide audience, something that normal computer games have never been able to achieve. Competing with friends and playing against friends has taken gaming to a new level”.
But social networks account for just one part of social gaming. There are sites like the Kongregate, and TheCasualCollective etc. that are built around the principle of social gaming. What does this mean?
It means the essence of these sites is to play games and push user interaction with the game and with each other to the maximum. What has helped take this culture a step further is the inclusion of interactive features like unlocking achievements or getting a bonus by completing certain levels in a game, or if you beat a friend’s score he gets a message asking him if he would like to beat your score, and that makes it more fun.
Gaming sites allow you to gather points and increase your level, communicate with friends, participate in discussions, and are a couple of notches above conventional gaming sites, but the users here are generally youths who have been previously interested in gaming. Social gaming is a trend that is still in its nascent, but is seeing a massive response from the market.