Social Network Gaming
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Social Network Gaming
How the world of gaming has changed because of the influence of social media, the rise of casual gaming and how gamers can be considered their own social network
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Overview

Gaming is a big part of my life and I wanted to research a little bit of that with relation to what we were doing in this class. Gaming for many years before this current console cycle had mainly been for the hardcore gamers and the younger crowd but since the rise of the Nintendo Wii and other social games on social media platforms the dynamic of what is considered a gamer has completely changed as well. Until very recently the word "gamer" when attached to a person did not illicit the best connotation but since the shape of the industry has changed so has the type of person that considers themselves to be gamers. 

 

The article that tells this story the best is the "Gaming Industry suffering Identity Crisis" article. The industry is in a very odd place right now. The biggest games are still being very successful like your Battlefield 3, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, UFC games but the smaller games are having a harder time to show the world what they really can do. More and more people are playing games for free on their mobile phones, in their web browsers and on social media platforms. When there are these many free offerings around it makes it hard for the smaller developers to keep their heads above water to churn out new games. 

 

The idea of gaming as its own social network was something I really wanted to find and bring to light but honestly I could hardly find any information on it and that really saddened me because I think it is a very important part of the internet today. I found the article talking about social networks for gamers but not necessarily gaming itself as a social network. The social dynamics of gaming itself while you are gaming is something that cannot really be compared to anything else. For example: When I'm playing Battlefield 3 with a bunch of my friends playing a 32 player vs. 32 player game filled with rockets, bullets and jets flying through the air things get very hectic. Multiple times my neighbors have knocked on my door because I've been just straight yelling "RPG, GET DOWN" or "I'M HIT COME HEAL ME" because they think someone is dying. The team dynamics that are in place when you play games with other people can easily be compared to that of a social network or forum sites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

I think it is important for the public to become more aware of videogame platforms as a way to build a network as well as even work for some team building exercises. The way that you have to work with your team in games like World of Warcraft and Battlefield are a much more dynamic and modern way to maybe outline the ideas of team building then the standard boring old lectures that companies constantly put together. 

 

The rise of social networking websites as the "next big game platform" was something that still baffles industry analysts to this day. The purists in the industry have tried for years to make people just ignore this micro games and continue to develop as if they never existed but from an economic standpoint this isn't possible. As long as my mom and grandma never tell me that they're "gamers" and keep their gaming to their Farmville's and UNO's I think the casual gamers and the hardcore community can co-exist peacefully. 

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IRL - In Real Life

IRL is a very well put together documentary that outlines the dangers of World of Warcraft addiction. It also explains very well the dynamics of WoW as a social network. The idea that you can join a guild full of people just like you and interact with them the same way that you can interact with people on Facebook or Twitter is amazing. The thing is however that WoW takes it even deeper than that. You have to work together to kill things in the game, work together to survive. You can meet friends from all over the world and in this documentary the film maker did so and even met a girl and flew to see her in Norway. The ultimate point of the film however is that sometimes gaming can become an addiction and it can take over your life. No matter how awesome my character is in WoW and no matter how many people tell me how great I am in it, that won't transfer into the real world. "No one's going to hire me based on my gearscore."

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Zynga's Value, at $7 Billion, Is Milestone for Social Gaming

Zynga's Value, at $7 Billion, Is Milestone for Social Gaming | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it

In relation to the previous post is this article. The powerhouse behind a large portion of the social games played on Facebook and other social networking sites is the company, Zynga. Their IPO was valued at around $1 billion (but valued the company at $7 billion), surprising not only the financial districts but also the gaming industry as a whole. Zynga attracts over 222 million people each month on Facebook, and that's only one of the networks that they are attached to. Massively Multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft can't even come close to that number with roughly 12 million players that have active accounts some don't even log on for months at a time. Social gaming is the new frontier and although gaming purists don't like it, it's here to stay. 

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Gamer 2.0, Exploring the use of Gaming, Community, & Social Media

A very in depth slide show showing a lot of statistics about gaming and the breakdown of what demographics and ages are playing what games and at what frequency. More specifically the first few slides show the rise of the casual/social gamer. The largest percent of a pie chart (44%) showing which games are played online belongs to puzzle, board and trivia games which pales in comparison to most people's assumptions that the Call of Duty games are the most popular online games rounding out the 21% of games played online. This just goes to show that the gamer base is diversifying. Many gamers require a sort of social interaction in their games today, without it the game seems flat. There's nothing like the feeling of being able to yell out orders to your squad during a heated game of Battlefield or casually typing away when someone hits you with a "draw 4" card in an online game of UNO. Essentially the same idea but to two very different degrees. 

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OP-ED: Blizzard's Latest Attempt to Lure Back WoW Subscribers Reeks of Desperation - 1UP.com

OP-ED: Blizzard's Latest Attempt to Lure Back WoW Subscribers Reeks of Desperation - 1UP.com | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it

In February Blizzard Entertainment, the creaters of World of Warcraft, laid off 8% of their staff. This comes as the Game Developer's Conference looms in March where many fear the rise of social media gaming. This is Blizzards desperate reach out to their staggering loss of subscribers in the last few months because of loss of interest and other popular games that have come out. 

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If the Government Patched World of Warcraft

In Atlas [Shrugged Ayn] Rand does a masterful job of showing the process by which raw political power—the aristocracy of pull—replaces individual productive ...
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Gaming industry in identity crisis

Gaming industry in identity crisis | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it
The interactive entertainment industry has been trying to cope with the rapid growth of online and mobile gaming for a few years, but now even the companies making games in these burgeoning areas are finding it harder to turn a profit.

 

Gaming companies are finally taking real notice of the Zynga and social media gaming age as a real thing. The first year that Zynga had a booth at the Game Developer's Conference was a dark year for hardcore gaming and many believed that the industry had taken a turn for the worst. Sooner or later many believe that the hardcore gaming community would be reduced to a shadow of what it once was. This comes as many companies are finding it harder and harder to actually make a profit off of even the most widely successful games. 

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6 Things World of Warcraft Can Teach You About Social Media Success

6 Things World of Warcraft Can Teach You About Social Media Success | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it

World of Warcraft is not just a game, it is a whole new social network that many people hardly recognize as such. While it may not be on the same level with users and viewership as say, Facebook or Twitter it has a much more dedicated fanbase that take everything much more seriously. The parallels between World of Warcraft and social media are much more prominent than many believe. It promotes team building, networking and persistance among many other things. Don't those words seem familiar? They do because you use those things to make friends, find employment and to be successful. 

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How gaming became the future of social media - Fortune Tech

How gaming became the future of social media - Fortune Tech | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it

For years the gaming industry has been a very serious thing, disregarding casual gamers as nothing more than soccer moms sitting at their computers playing solitare. In the most recent years however since the dawn of the Facebook game age it has become one of the most lucritive businesses in the industry. The Nintendo Wii is the console that leads the charge for the casual gaming community but their real domain is in web browsers. The Facebook games like Mafia Wars, Farmville and Diner Dash have larger playership than most console games these days, it is because of their accessability. The gaming industry had all but turned up their nose at casual gaming until very recently. Those soccer moms and grandmas tending to their crops are a force to be reckoned with. 

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GAME ON: Top 5 Social Networks for Gamers

GAME ON: Top 5 Social Networks for Gamers | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it

There are obvious social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and MySpace but many people are oblivious to the wide array of social networks that gamers can be apart of. These five websites act in a way similar to that of Facebook where you can add friends and create a profile but instead of interacting about what Flo-Rida song is the best you argue about who's a better hero; Samus or Link. Not to be condecending towards those non-gamers out there but we (as gamers) don't understand most of the normal lingo in the same way that you have no idea who Kefka is and sometimes we just need to talk about that. The cool thing with most of these sites is that you have the ability to link your profiles into your other social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.) fairly seemlessly. 

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XKCD-Inspired Cartoon Maps the World's Social Networks [PIC]

XKCD-Inspired Cartoon Maps the World's Social Networks [PIC] | Social Network Gaming | Scoop.it

http://xkcd.com/256/ <<; original cartoon map

 

The new map that was inspired by the original does not show gaming communities on it (that I can see at least, maybe I'm blind) but the original does. Each "continent" is split up and sized based on the amount of users that are on it. While the gaming "continent" may be much smaller than most of the map it is still substatial enough to be seen (right hand side). At the time of publishing this cartoon I believe World of Warcraft was working with roughly 14 million subscribers. I'll be the first to tell you that WoW's subscriber numbers are somewhat fabricated based on the idea that while a user might have an active account, they might not actually sign into it. Despite that however, WoW is still a very viable social network. 

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