Social networking and video game players may seem like a contradiction to some, but many recognize that the action of playing games is more often than not a social event. Today we aren’t limited to single player games with just the Artificial Intelligence to keep us company. Today, gamers need massive multiplayer online games, also known as mmo or mmorpg games.
The spectacle of this lone gamer in a dimly lit room is no more the standard. Granted, the surroundings may be dim, but the societal interactions are bright and numerous. With the rise of popular mmorpg game titles like Ultima Online, Lineage, EverQuest, and World of Warcraft, mmo gaming has turned what use to be a solo activity, into an orgy of amusement for the masses. No more Mario solo; we now have real people to interact with. The most dangerous game, hunted real people. This can be true of online games as well. Why conflict against computer intelligence which is limited to if then statements? Until AI reaches that of a human, online contest will always be more satisfying than playing against an NPC. Even handling larger NPC’s is possible with a group of players who would otherwise be impossible without the social atmosphere in these types of games.
With games becoming more social, there was a need to fill the emptiness to interact with one another outside the game. Surprisingly the relationships formed in sport were”real”; people in games would talk for hours per night, often three to four times per week. One of the first social networks that place a face behind the digital figures was CharacterPlanet in 2006. AvatarsUnited would launch as well, but only allow the virtual personalities to function as profiles, basically losing touch when leaving one match for one more. The explosive development of Facebook and Kongregate establish that the casual game space is actual, as well the potential to monetize these games which see an immense quantity of revenue each day. Together with the online part and a low entry barrier, many online communities are in some manner or another becoming societal networks for video game play of some kind, whether casual or hardcore.
Conflicts of interest are important questions to ask when dealing with these networks or communities. Raptr creator actually created Xfire. He essentially remade the tech put a small twist on it, and is competing with his first creation. GamerDNA received venture funding and was soon plastering ads on the homepage to justify the money spent. They were soon sold to indie games for exactly what the real estate experts call”pennies on the dollar”. AvatarsUnited was bought out by Linden Labs (Second Life) which makes it biased for that virtual universe. EA has a vested interest in promoting its own products and can be evident on the front page of Rupture. Whatever network, there is a problem with conflict of interest. Gamers and video gaming fans demand a more neutral community built on hope, rather than the most important thing.
A place to socialize with others and go over all of games, whether EA, Linden Labs, or Indie programmers. The alternative to selling out is a long tedious process of trial and error, bootstrapping and creativity. Avatars United has obtained its own root thoughts from CharacterPlanet but is now under the management of Second Life. GamerDNA is currently crispygamer. Raptr is a Xfire clone with a few social components. For now the only authentic societal location to meet other players is Facebook. The classes, fan pages (like webpages ), and profile stream allow for enormous interaction between players, however, the generic network lacks the attention enough to cater to the gaming masses. Time will tell if some of the social networks for players will emerge as the number one, and possibly one which doesn’t answer to a significant corporation with an agenda. Freedom in this genre isn’t possible, but an impartial community is the only authentic way of bringing everyone together.