– social software

Are Social Games Evil ?

A few weeks ago I had gone to a networking event in Mt View and met up with a lot of entrepreneurs and likewise hacker oriented people. I also bumped into a friend of mines that I had met up in earlier networking events. He had taken a job at one of the big social game publishers since we had last talked.

I enjoy following the innovation being built on top of social networking platforms like facebook, twitter etc. So, I asked him how it felt to be working for one of these game publishers. He said it was a fun and a busy job, since they have to constantly innovate to keep up with the user’s engagement and also come up with the strategies to monetize them. And he also described a little bit more about the user behavior, demographics etc. However, he made a statement that stood out of all this conversation. He mentioned that he does not feel good about wasting people’s time since most of the social games are built around user engagement and trying to keep them playing for hours.

I think he is right to some extent that these games encourage a lot of unproductive hours for the users. However, you could also look at it from the flip side that these games provide entertainment, happiness etc along with the ability to socialize with other players in the game. As a kid I remember playing Super Mario Brothers and other video games for hours and hours. Could I have been productive doing other things ? Yes. Do I regret playing Mario Brothers for hours and hours back in the days ? No.

In conclusion, I feel the game developer should make his game as engaging as possible and provide them with value like entertainment, social interactivity with fellow users. However, the user’s should be smart enough to know when to pull the plug and do other activities in their life as well. What do you guys feel ? I would love to hear your commentaries.

July 5, 2010 Posted by | facebook application, game | , , , , | Leave a comment