Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Why Social Gaming Is Now So Unbelievably Popular

For years, multiplayer games have been a thing. But it is only recently that the term “social gaming” entered the lexicon. And that fact has some people confused. After all, why make up a new name for something that already exists?

Well, in truth, social gaming isn’t the same as a multiplayer game. When you log onto a server to play Call of Duty, you’re not there to chat or make friends, you’re there to dominate. But social games are different. They are there to entertain you while you socialize with others online.

The social gaming phenomenon first showed up in the form of games like Farmville. Other companies then began releasing similar games, hoping to grab a share of the market. Eventually, it became a full-blown phenomenon and one of the main reasons people now use social media. 

So what are the key characteristics of social games? How do you know you’re actually playing one? And what makes them so popular?

Sharing

First, there’s the sharing element. While most online multiplayer games focus on gameplay, social games are more like a forum. You’re not trying to kill each other. Instead, you’re chatting, trading, and interacting in ways that you hope will provide you with an advantage. 

The degree to which you share depends heavily on how the game developers structure the gameplay. In some examples, nearly the whole game is essentially just a giant marketplace where you try to trade your way to an advantage. In others, there is a substantial degree of grinding before you build up enough resources to create something that others will value. 

Casual

Companies that develop these games, such as Playphone, also look for ways to make them as casual as possible. Ideally, you should be able to play them while browsing the internet or chatting with somebody online. The games themselves are always there for you to play, but the gameplay itself never intrudes on anything else you want to do. 

That’s why you find that so many of these games use a click-based approach. If you want to move to the next stage, you press somewhere on the screen, activating an action or animation which plays out, whether you are there to observe it or not. There’s nothing “fast-twitch” about it. 

Purchases

Virtually all games now have in-game purchase options. But it is a particularly common practice among social games. People like to present themselves in a certain way online. And they’re willing to hand over money for the privilege. 

In-game purchases are also a way to keep many social games free. A lot of users don’t want to pay for anything immediately; they just want a trial run. It’s only later - when they get into them - that making purchases becomes worthwhile. Until that point, they would prefer to hold onto their cash. 

There’s also a degree of acceptability about charging for items in a free game - something that’s not true for triple-A titles you have to pay for upfront. And that can partly explain their success. People stick with them because their friends play them.

10 comments:

  1. I used to game a lot. Just can't find the time anymore.

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  2. I think the massification of mobile gaming is very much a component so they had to develop alternative mechanics to engage people because mobile platforms are not as hardware powerful as Pcs and consoles!!!

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  3. This is an awesome way to stave off pandemic boredom.

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  4. I've never tried any of these games. I like the game on my computer when I want to play.

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  5. I've tried to play games but I'm not very good at them. I use to work with some me that would work 12hours and then go home and game for hours.

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  6. Interesting article, I love social gaming.

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  7. I'm not into gaming, but I do play with my daughter sometimes.

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  8. i am actually getting into this myself and it's helping me bond with my kids

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