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以社交行为分析竞争型与协作型社交游戏特点

发布时间:2011-06-21 11:40:51 Tags:,,,

作者:LUCAROSSI

在社交游戏中,在线好友是游戏体验的基本组成部分,这已是公认的事实。对任何游戏研究学者而言,游戏即社交行为并非新颖观点,但社交行为在社交网络站点中会如何发生改变仍值得研究。这便是我在2010年10月份参加在哥特堡举行的IR11.0大会上的主要演讲内容。

这个观点的假想是,社交游戏中蕴含着不同的潜在社交机制。社会资本研究中的两个概念可帮我们理解上述说法。社交行为通常分为桥式行为和界线行为两个类别,桥式行为通过添加新成员或与其他群体建立联系来扩大原有群体,界线行为的做法与之相反,通过增强成员间的联系来加强现有群体。

如果我们观察这些动态因素在社交游戏中的运用,就会发现二者间的差别表现如下:

有些游戏以协作为基础(游戏邦注:如《FarmVille》和《Pet Society》等),玩家把朋友当成游戏内的资源来使用。玩游戏的朋友越多,你就会获得越多的利益。

反之,我们也会看到基于直接竞争的游戏(游戏邦注:如《Biggest Brain》和《Bejeweld》等),朋友成为你的竞争对手。只要你还能够从挑战好友中找到乐趣,就会不断玩游戏。

基于协作的游戏似乎潜藏着桥式动态,而使竞争型游戏发挥成效的是界线动态。

下图是对社交游戏玩家的在线调查结果,描述了竞争型游戏玩家和协作型游戏玩家间两种全然不同的社交游戏行为体验。

sharing achievements(from socialgamestudies)

sharing achievements(from socialgamestudies)

虽然竞争型和协作型游戏都会刺激用户邀请朋友参与游戏,但协作型游戏用户出于游戏目的添加好友的比例较大。48%的协作型游戏玩家出于游戏目的添加好友,在竞争性游戏玩家中只有23%的人这么做。

相比之下,竞争型游戏似乎更容易让现有网络中的用户管理现有好友的关系,并与之进行互动交流;50%的竞争型游戏玩家与朋友共享游戏成就,而有类似做法的协作型游戏玩家只占32%。

这些不同的潜在社交行为能否用来解释社交游戏的寿命,以及它们通过社交网络逐渐蔓延的原因呢?有个相对合理的猜测,那就是基于协作的游戏会比基于竞争的游戏扩张得更快,因为后者只能在小圈子朋友中传播。很显然,社交游戏是种非常复杂的产品,其中夹杂着协作和竞争元素,但我相信社会资本等某些概念化工具往往会帮助人们理解正在发生的事情。

游戏邦注:本文发稿于2010年12月8日,所涉时间、事件和数据均以此为准。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Friends: A different kind of resource

LUCAROSSI

It’s now clear that when we’re moving into Social Games, our online friends are a fundamental part of our gaming experience. The fact that gaming is a social activity is nothing new to any games scholar, but how this social activity gets transformed by taking place in social network sites is something that should be further investigated. This was the idea behind my presentation at the IR11.0 in Gothenburg in October 2010 during a panel session on gaming in social networking sites together with Olli Sotamaa and Lisbeth Klastrup.

The hypothesis is that specific social games work using different kind of underlying social mechanisms. A couple of concepts taken from the social capital studies could help us understanding this point. We usually make a distinction between bridging activities and bounding activities: Bridging activities are those aimed at enlarging the group by bringing in new members or by establishing connections with different groups. On the opposite, bounding activities aim at strengthening the existing group by reinforcing the connections among the members.

If we try to see how these dynamics can apply within social games, we end up with the following kind of distinction:

There are games based on collaboration (FarmVille, Pet Society, etc.) where friends are used as in-game resources: The more friends you’ve got that play the game, the more benefits you will have.

On the opposite, we find games based on direct competition (Biggest Brain, Bejeweld, etc.) where friends are your competitors and you keep playing the game as long as you’re having fun challenging them.

Collaboration-based games seem to work with an underlying bridging dynamic, while competitive games seem to work with a bounding dynamic.

This is what emerges from an online survey on social gamers; it describes two completely different experiences of social-gaming activities among players of competition-based games on the one side and among those of collaboration-based games on the other.

While both competitive and collaboration games push the users to invite their friends into the game, collaboration games push the users to add new friends “because of the games” (48% of collaboration gamers have added new friends because of the game, against only 23% of competitive gamers).

In comparison, competitive games seem to work better as tools to manage and communicate social status within your already existing network: 50% of competitive game players share their game-achievements with their friends, while only 32% of collaboration-game players do the same.

Can these different underlying social activities be used to explain the time-life of social games and how they propagate through the social network sites? One corollary hypothesis could be that games based on bridging/collaboration spread faster than games based on bounding/competition (which tend to stay within smaller/closer circles of friends). Obviously, social games are always more complex products, showing mixed elements of both collaboration and competition, but I believe that some conceptual tools like social capital are always useful to understand what’s going on. (Source: Social Game Studies)


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