Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sharing Content with Social Relevance

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to write an editorial series that was published on GameZebo, a casual games review site. The series was called "Core and Casual: What are We Talking About?" (click the link to read part 1).

Well, I'm at it again! This time, I'm tackling the issue of sharing from games to the 'outside world,' generally through social networks like Facebook or specialized gaming networks like Xbox Live. There's an interesting rift right now in what is generally referred to as the "gaming industry" - a small part of the audience is very accustomed to social network games that contain many prompts to post stories about your in-game accomplishments for your friends to see. The rest of the gaming public tends to look upon this practice as a degradation of the sanctity of games, even while the games they play grow more and more "social" (if you need proof, read the comments on Kotaku regarding Valve boss Gabe Newell's recent statement that all of Valve's games will be multiplayer in the future).

I hope having a bit more of a balanced, thoughtful consideration for the benefits of social sharing in games might at least enlighten game designers and players to the opportunities that await them. At the same time, any thinking about the topic should also serve as a warning to those who would abuse the powers social networks bring: namely, those that end up creating games that feel like they're trying to get something out of you instead of giving you something.

You can read the full article on GameZebo. Of course, thoughtful comments and criticisms are always appreciated!

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