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Posts with tag social-networks

Breakfast Topic: Casualties of casual gaming

The other day over dinner, my wife and I were talking about a new game on Facebook and how easy it would be for us to game the system. My brother-in-law stopped us mid-conversation and asked, "What the hell happened to you two? You used to be hardcore raiders! Now you're talking about min-maxing a Facebook game!"

My wife and I looked sheepishly at each other and hung our heads in shame. This is what it had come to. While we're committed to playing together come Cataclysm, we had now been reduced to the most casual of casual gamers -- playing browser-based games with no real, complex story or engaging gameplay. At least, nothing as complex or engaging as the World of Warcraft. But the reality is that casual gaming is a bigger phenomenon than we can imagine. Zynga's Farmville has over 61.6 million active users -- that's almost six times WoW's 11.5 million subscriber base. Never mind that World of Warcraft is subscription-based and that not all of Farmville's players are paying customers. Forget about revenue for a moment. That's 61.6 million gamers playing one game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

J!NX and Steelseries giving away loot on Facebook

Steelseries and J!NX have teamed up to give away some loot over the next three weeks -- hardware from Steelseries and some outer wear from J!NX, as well as other pretty cool stuff. The contest is open to Facebook users, who will be eligible to win one of six loot packs to be given away. Two loot packs will be given away each week, and each pack consists of the following: The first week simply asks Facebook users to 'like' or become fans on both the Steelseries and J!NX Facebook pages, with two winners to be determined randomly on May 5, 2010. The second week will require Facebook users to flex their social networking muscles a little bit as contestants are asked to post a screenshot of their favorite person, place, or activity in Azeroth on the J!NX Facebook page and garner as many "likes" for their entry until May 12. The screenshot with the most "likes" will win one loot pack, while a panel of judges from J!NX and Steelseries will determine who wins the second pack.

The third week is a similar exercise in social network popularity, but contestants are asked to submit a video of an in-game dance party on the Steelseries fan page. As with the week before it, the video that ends up with the most "likes" at the end of the period, May 19, will win one loot pack. J!NX and Steelseries will select the winner of the second loot bag. If you're not averse to the whole social network experience, this promotion seems like a relatively painless way to try and score some cool swag.

Filed under: Contests

Facebook vs. World of Warcraft

They both have millions of users across the world. They both have made and broken friendships and relationships, and they both have raised millions if not billions of dollars for their respective companies. And chances are that they're both so popular even your grandma knows about them. Gamasutra has written an interesting post comparing both World of Warcraft and Facebook of all things, and they say that the two are more alike than you might think: both enable you to create an identity, and use that identity to interact with others, and both give you a wide variety of options to do so (in WoW, you can slay dragons together, and on Facebook, you can tag pictures or post on walls). Gamasutra wants to get to the center of where exactly the interactivity lies, and in doing so, figure out what makes Warcraft a game, and Facebook a network.

One major difference is in the interface -- obviously, WoW is wrapped in a fantasy world, so that in between all of the socializing, you're also fighting the Scourge or the Burning Crusade. Facebook has games, but it doesn't have that overarching narrative. WoW also rewards group teamwork and coordination, while Facebook leaves collaboration to its own rewards. And of course the cost is another big difference: WoW is still a subscription game, while Facebook pays in other ways. But the amount of similarities between the two are pretty fascinating. And comparing the two, as Gamasutra does, really makes you think about just what interactivity means, and how two apparently very different types of interactive media aren't that far apart after all.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums

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