Social Gaming is hot! You can read stuff like that on dodgy marketing blogs. In fact. They are right. The current global audience of social games has surpased 500 mio. monthly active users according to ScreenDigest (2010). Consumer spending on social games rose from 76 mio. US$ in 2008 to 639 mio. US$ in 2009 and is expected to grow to 1,5 billion US$ in 2014.
I got these numbers from an actual workshop report put together by Sebastian Deterding from the Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research at the University of Hamburg. You can find it here. The academical debate right now seems to basically set out for first attempts to gather and organise existing research and tries the creation of a shared baseline for systematic academic research.
Apart from that social gaming technics and experiments are more and more absorbed in many different areas. I stumbled upon that article some days ago: Candidates turn to Facebook games as campaign tactic to collect information. The quite obvious goal of these so called games here is to collect your personal data. I do not get the point how the developers want to engage or immerse the audience with these things. There is no real game fun involved and the target audience should definitely pass by very quickly to avoid political spam in the inbox.
An award-winning social news game
HearSay is something differnet. It is currently developed by Susanne Rust, a 2010 Knight Fellow. “Rust came to Stanford intending to work on a tool for investigative journalists and instead ended up creating HearSay, a social news game that was a winner at the Stanford Software Faire. HearSay allows users to curate and share stories, answering the question, ‘I wonder what my friends are reading.’” Read more.
A very interesting approach, though i am a bit sceptical if the reward system and the gaming idea is strong enough to engage users over a longer period of time. What do you think?
- SocialGameNews.com is a headline news aggregator that provides brief summaries and links to the top stories breaking in the rapidly evolving social games industry.
- Inside Social Games is a service of Inside Network, the first company dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem.
- Social Game Studies is a multi-authored blog and repository on the academic study of social games.