Why Social Games Are So Popular
by Bogdan Tyler
Man has been deemed a social animal since long time ago. Our social circles and the relationships we make are the factors that differentiate us from other species. Social games have been part of the man’s life throughout history.
What Are Social Games?
Any game that offers social interaction is termed a social game. There could be any number of players involved and any type of medium being used.
Social Games in Modern History
Social games have been around since as early as the 9th century when card games were invented in imperial China and spread across Europe to become an essential element of socializing. Things took a turn for mass scale social games with the advent of casinos. People from different walks of life came together on a single table to try their luck at hand and assert supremacy over other players. In late 1990s, an electronic platform was used and the face of social games has changed from primarily card games to electronic games. Nintendo and Atari have been introduced that allowed two to maximum four players to compete virtually in different games. This was the beginning of the virtual gaming era, which has earned the status of a cult over the years.
With the spread Internet, social games have become immensely popular. Players from across the world can play a game and compete without having to be in actual physical contact. The number of people engaged at a single time is beyond ordinary. Millions of people can be online at the same time and be playing the same game from within the comforts of their own surroundings. Many cyber platforms have been developed especially to cater gaming. EA Games is an example, which is a whole virtual library for social games. All you need in order to enter the world of cyber gaming is internet connection and a gadget, be it a smart phone or a computer. There is also a growing trend of using social networking platforms like Facebook to engage in competitive social gaming like Mafia Wars, or Farmville etc.
Why People Play Social Games
There are many different views why play social games but some of the main reasons include:
According to experts from GlobalPuzzle.net, who develop puzzle games, people play social games for satisfying their sense of completion without having any real consequences on their life. Social games also provide challenging environment to enhance the experience of exploration. They offer role plays which are a nice change from real life.
Some people play social games to achieve self-actualization. It gives them a feel a power when they achieve high scores or attain superior level. Competitive people have a need that drives them to fierce battle. Social games offer that wider scope of completion by posting world scores, high achievers, best player lists, etc. These rankings are updated in real time hence giving the player instant gratification.
For others, it is the escape from real life problems that attract them to social games. For a double shift worker, a few hours in his perfect cyber world is just the medicine he needs. Games like Farmville, for instance, engage people in making imaginary lives with their friends, family etc.
Popularity Factors of Social Games
Social games are becoming immensely popular for a number of reasons. Some are more apparent than the others. Firstly, they provide a cost effective entertainment to its users. Secondly, modern day social games connect you instantly to millions of likeminded people without actually getting away from your comfort zone.
There are other not so apparent reasons for the popularity of such games. One big factor is that these games are hugely marketed by corporations. They are easily available through any networking platform. Almost all networking platforms like Google, Facebook, etc. have their fair share of social games applications; similar is the case with smart phone industry.
It can easily be concluded that social games have been a part of our past and continues to be in a tremendous way a part of our future. (source:gamasutra)