Social games aren’t too different from traditional online gaming. Both types focus on entertainment appealing to a wide audience, with simple mechanics and relatively short periods of play. Yet unlike traditional gaming, social games are distributed through social networks and existing relationships with other users through invite systems, news feed postings, user-to-user notifications or paid acquisition.
Social gaming allows games to create unique content and characters by tapping into a player’s existing social network, for example Mafia Wars, and Farmville which both are incredibly successful, i should know I have spent hours on Mafia wars.
There are numerous types of social games out there but who has the time to play them, and why should brands start jumping on the social gaming space??? It is all about keeping an eye on the ball and longer brand engagement with the fans, customers/future customers. Arkadium which is a company that creates innovative game solutions for consumer brands, ad agencies, online gamers, and any company looking to expand their presence. Their games reach millions of people across all demographics through the most popular online destinations. Their client roster is impressive, with some detailed testimonials from clients such as AARP that said, “After the launch, traffic shot up to an average of 4.5 million page views, an increase of 294 percent.” I guess then that’s one good reason, don’t you think?
It’s clear—games are becoming the community and community becoming the game.Foursquare is a perfect example, with social capital badges given out or unlocked based on offline behaviors. Foursquare has exploded to 1.8 million users, and with a rumored cash infusion coming its way, according to the Wall Street Journal. Gaming in China is bigger than ads or search, which might explain Google’s reported $100-$200 million investment in Zynga, a top social gaming company. Even a listing by appdata.com of the top five games paints an astonishing picture of growth in social gaming. Social media is a game-changer. It’s impacting who plays, along with when and where they do it.
Are you a social gamer?
Of course you are. If you Twitter, link, Stumble or Digg, share, measure, collect bookmarks… If you have created an avatar, asked for notification of messages, events, comments, etc… by definition, you’re a social gamer.