The Rise of Social Gaming

By Michael Potter

At one stage or another we’ve all indulged in some sort of gaming, whether it be board games or video games. However, only a small portion of us would actually dub ourselves ‘gamers’. Surprisingly though, that hasn’t stopped a dramatic increase in the social gaming world. In fact, in the US alone companies can expect to generate a turnover of one million dollars just via mobile games.

Social gaming is now becoming such an intrinsic part of our lives that many are left wondering why this sudden influx in interest and demand has risen. Industries experts have a ranged viewpoint on the matter and this is reinforced by an article published by MVC which asked experts what their thoughts were on the social gaming movement.

The founder of GamesBrief, Nicholas Lovell, believes that it’s the accessibility and the ease of getting involved with social games that makes them so widely used. Furthermore, Lovell comments on how people don’t need to spend any money up front or do any hard-core research prior to playing social games, a somewhat barrier free entry into the world of gaming.

Following on from this, PopCap Senior Games Designer, David Bishop discussed how the social gaming space is a way of introducing non-gamers to the wonders of gaming. This is done in a friendly, familiar environment thanks to being able to play online with friends and family. Joining in on the debate, Head of Consumer PR at Ladbrokes, one of the leading online gaming websites, had this to say:

“The influence of women in this sphere can scarcely be over-estimated. They are engaging more in new forms of social gaming at a rapid rate and as providers of key betting and gaming products we are always on the look-out for innovative ways to appeal to the female audience. The numbers of women playing are exciting for a brand like ours and our challenge is now to develop the ways to monetise the female social gaming enthusiasm.”

The commentary on bonding and socialising, is what has made social games such as casino ones some of the most popular to get involved with and play. Reaffirming this, BusinessTech report on how casino games and virtual villages are the main contenders in the social gaming market, with thousands of players drawn to them each day. Moreover, the article continues by stating how, due to this enormous increase in demand, gaming companies and casino websites are adapting and tailoring their services to create games to fulfil gamers need.

Whatever it is we love about these games and that keeps us coming back for more, there’s no sign of it decreasing in the near future; for now we’ll remain an avid nation of social gamers

Update DTG:  IMr Potter is not a regular here but this is on a subject I’m interested in and I have a few things to add.

As a long time gamer back in the days when it was all board games the real change here is generational, with a generation that has grown up with PC’s in their home and PC games as the norm this type of gaming has really changed.

Not only do you have more women as listed before but you’ll have friends of mixed sex actually gaming together with it not seeming odd, additionally with the popularity of shows like the Big Bang Theory these type of games have  gone from “geek” to “chic” or perhaps it’s “geek chic”

While there will, in my opinion always been a primarily male component to gaming (basically as an outlet for behavior that is no longer allowed or approved) we will see the integration of these systems to expand the audience and the profitability of these companies.

As for me, well I’ll still be playing my semi weekly board games while my sons and their friends (male & female) enter 21st century gaming together.

Update 2: updated tags

Update 3: updated tags