Understanding Social Games

I keep hearing the praise for “social games”. I’ve yet to hear anyone really define whadda hell they are, but I can’t help noticing that there might be something into all this. Here’s a few articles I digged from the internetz:

(Found these articles via Twitter #socialgames channell by the way.

Any good articles to share? Let’s make a bigger list together, m’kay?

Update:
And more links from you readers:

5 thoughts on “Understanding Social Games

  1. Lots of buzz about social gaming emerge on-line lately.
    My opinion on Facebook gaming success:
    – one get great base of players: friends of friends joining.
    – marketing through great amount of (annoying) action posts: take a look I advanced in my *game*, gaining level, finding cool stuff around, helping in-game friends. Come and JOIN ME, let’s be game mates. Great thing you can turn them off…
    – no need for registering for game, just click accept on application and you are in, ‘enjoying’ all the fun in-game. No registration form, validation emails, just use your Facebook account. And see all your friends that play the same game too.

    At the end video that was interesting to me, really great thoughts:
    http://g4tv.com/videos/44277/DICE-2010-Design-Outside-the-Box-Presentation/

  2. Updated those links (insidesocialgames.com was mentioned in those my articles, but I put it out anyway).

    Regarding facebook: what about people like *me* who does not use facebook? How can I play “social games”? :)

    That’s what I’m thinking with my own current prototype. What kind of social elements I’d like to add to my game, but so that people don’t need to belong/use any external applications in order to play my game. Those would be optional. Like, if you want to use facebook somehow, you could – but that doesn’t prevent you from playing the game. If you want to use your blog somehow, that would be fine. Or twitter etc. But this wouldn’t be forced.

    (Just a thought)

  3. @lonestarr: No they don’t. Makes the game much more complicated to do and much more expensive to run as you need servers to run the game “live”, whereas running something like Farmville, isn’t that complicate, “all you need” is scalable web application, which are not that expensive to maintain and to develop.

    Nice articles, but the problem i have with “Social gaming” these days, is, it’s almost always linked to Facebook automatically. What i would like to see, is a real analysis of what makes a game social, why Facebook make the game more social than Evony or any non-Facebook webgame? or any MMO out there? Especially MMOs, where there is way more social interaction between players than there is in Farmville.

  4. Thanks for the links, you may add this one:
    http://makeitbigingames.com/2010/04/i-think-zynga-is-worth-5-billion/

    I see “social games = Casual + running on Facebook”.
    IMHO, the goal is to spam your friends so that they play the game too. The good idea is when the games are multiplayer games, so that you can play with your FB friends…. But I’m not sure that the current hits of Zynga games do that. I’ll check this.