Brad Stone of the New York Times has posted an entire piece on the new gaming network launched by Mark Pincus. Pincus, who previously launched Support.com and Tribe.net, it taking a shot at a new company, the Zynga Game Network. The new company is completely dedicated to developing game applications for social networks. Does this sound familiar? If you’ve watched any of my video interviews it should.
In my interview with Shervin Pishevar last month, Shervin discussed the new venture by Webs.com called the Social Gaming Network. The new company focuses on the exact same thing that the Zynga Game Network focuses on. These aren’t the only two companies focused on social gaming. Buddy Media, the creator of Acebucks for Facebook, has focused heavily on integrating their Acebucks product into games within social networks.
As companies pop-up that are catered to social networks it illuminates the great demand for social games. There have been social games for a while. Yahoo Games was one of the first sites to integrate chat with games and now social network games can provide rich profile data making the game more effective for connecting with other players. Virtual worlds also fit into the social category, enabling players to build fantasy lives with other players.
I won’t list out all of the social gaming resources but add on XBox Live and the network for Playstation 3 users and you begin to realize that gaming is increasingly about connecting with other people not just beating your score. This is a transformation from the original games such as Pac Man or even pinball which were not as much of a social activity aside from the onlooking friend who would try to either beat your score or brag about your inability to match their skill level.
As gaming evolves it is pretty obvious that the most important features have become the ability to interact with other players. Humans want to connect and games are now one of the primary ways to do that. Do you prefer to play highly involved video games or do you prefer the simpler games provided via social networks and other gaming sites on the web? Do you even have time to play games?