Social Gaming

Who would have though I’d be playing Internet games for a university course? Well that’s exactly what this week’s post is about. While I do like playing games (and I will admit I have played the occasional game of solitaire on the computer, I was hooked on the adventure game Myst for awhile, and I even played the shooter game Doom) I haven’t yet got hooked playing games on sites such as Facebook and I don’t consider myself to be a true “gamer”. Maybe it comes down to the time I have available and how I choose to spend that time. A quick game of cards on my computer or a game on my phone while waiting for an appointment is something that can be used as a time filler and can be switched on and off as needed.

For me, when I think of playing games I relate it to playing at a table with a group of friends, getting together at a predetermined time and a place, chatting, having something to eat, and so on. I know other students in the class said that they can do all the same things over the Internet but for me it’s just not the same. I like the feeling of actually being in the same room, of having that personal connection. That being said, I can see why others participate in social media games. For example friends who don’t live near each other can still arrange to ‘meet’ for a game, they can chat online, and it gives them the opportunity to maintain a long-distance friendship. For others maybe it’s the chance to ‘meet’ new people. For others maybe it is the competitive aspect of scores, and bragging rites, and while I do like winning (and who doesn’t), having my scores posted for all to see is not something I’m terribly interested in.
But back to the game playing for this course … I decided to Candy Crush Saga because two of my friends are playing it on Facebook. I know this because I regularly receive updates about their progress. After completing round one I’m asked if I want to share my results (no, I don’t). I play on but don’t complete the level so I’m asked if I would like to buy extra credits or ask my friends. Another option is to watch an advertisement to gain a new life or even start another game to earn credits for this one. I feel like I’m constantly being manipulated and I don’t particularly like it. The commercial aspect takes the fun out of the game so I move on to another. This time I try Words with Friends. I don’t know anyone who plays so I opted for a random opponent. It was extremely slow paced, so it wasn’t long before I lost interest. I considered downloading the app to my phone, but when the installation process stated that it would have access to my contact list I aborted the install. I wouldn’t subject the people in my contact list to unnecessary messages and or advertisements and I hope that they feel the same way. Maybe it’s because I work on a computer all day that I don’t want to spend my social time on a computer. That being said, I can see why so many people do enjoy social gaming. It just doesn’t happen to be for me.


1 thought on “Social Gaming

  1. Edward Elliott

    It is interesting how games have evolved from the kitchen table to social networks… Don’t these game developers realize that people know when they are being manipulated? Hard to see how some people would allow these games to spam their friends and family. There has to be a better way?


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