对于想要了解社交网络游戏发展概况的人来讲，这张图至关重要，能让你一目了然。游戏开发者Jon Radoff以图表形式制作了社交游戏发展的简史（a brief history of social games）。
Jon Radoff 是社交游戏网站gamerdna的创始人。
Jon Radoff, game designer and founder of social media site GamerDNA, doesn’t seem ready to reveal his new Facebook game venture just yet — but maybe we can extract a few clues from this history of social games he’s crafted.
The most ancient games have been found in the archaeological excavations. Senet was a game placed in Ancient Egypt in 3100 BC, and the earliest set of dice (which represents luck–likely stemming from early concepts of fate and divine favor–which emerged from soothsayers who forecast the future from the casting of bones) was found in a Backgammon set. At the same time as these early boardgames were being created, people were playing sports; it seems likely that sports have an origin deep within prehistory, but one of the earliest recorded sports was Polo–which, like Backgammon–has its origins in ancient Persia. Polo was originally designed as a way to develop military skills. Somewhat later, early ballgames like Episkyros (in Greece) and then Harpastum (Rome) were played, which later gave rise to Medieval sports such as Shrovetide Football, a forerunner to most contemporary football sports.
Chess may have been originall thought of as an abstraction of military conflict, used to teach military strategy to generals. Over the years, it grew in popularity, and during the Enlightenment was thought of as a way to train the mind. Benjamin Franklin wrote a famous essay called the Morals of Chess, which he believed taught caution, circumspection and foresight. Similarly, other games had begun to emerge that were designed to teach moral values, including Leela, a game from 16th century India which was the model for the modern game Chutes and Ladders. Also during the late middle ages, one finds a profusion of card-games, starting with Tarot Cards, originally intended for use in games (although they later became associated with fortune telling). Games of chance, like luck, seem to be perennially associated with the occult.
1974 was perhaps the most important year in modern game history; this is when Dungeons and Dragons came to market. It integrated the ideas of abstracting tactical combat along with storytelling and a unique social aspect in which individual players used their imagination and creativity to contribute to the ongoing game. From D&D, you can trace a history through early mainframe computer games, to MUDs (multiuser dungeons) to MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. Meanwhile, many people were looking to engage in asynchronous games that wouldn’t require groups to gather at set points in time, giving rise to play-by-mail games. The earliest implementations of online PBM games (aside from their manifestation as play-by-email games) were BBS “Door” games. Trade Wars is probably one of the most famous; and I wrote a game in this market called Space Empire a long time ago. A lot of these play-patterns are similar to what you’ll find in current Web-based and social-network games.
Games that originally emerged in the hobby gaming market (such as Magic: the Gathering) laid the groundwork for virtual economies by showing that elements of games could be collected, traded and derive value from the intersection of their scarcity and utility. Most early MMORPGs built business models around subscription rather than virtual goods–which caused secondary markets to emerge for trading in items. Today, many games in the Free-to-Play (F2P) have turned this on its head, by making virtual goods the way the game publisher monetizes; because this has become such a good way to attract players and monetize attention, this has become “the” business model of current social network games. Likewise, virtual reward systems and metagames such as the Xbox Live Achievement system prefigured the underlying mechanic of Foursquare and Music Pets.
The current social network game market is the confluence of several big trends: social gameplay, along with asynchronous play patterns and a virtual-goods business model that has been shaped by market forces. We’re only at the beginning of seeing how far we can take the genre. It’s my belief that the next wave of games will draw upon many of the elements we’ve seen work in the past:
great storytelling, challenging decision-making and a sense of tribal belongingness that surrounds popular games.