James Simpson, CEO and founder of Goldfire Studious, a HTML 5 startup focused on real-life, community based gameplay. In this talk, he focuses on the power of social games and how they are valuable within the gaming community to form connections.
Simpson first talks about how the internet has introduced new levels of connection. While personal and social space still have a lot of advancing to do, video games have the power to sweep the social change on a global scale. Video games or social games offer basic form of communication. Simpson offers that half a billion people play video games every single week, and these numbers keep rising. It’s not just teens that are a part of these statistics, but the gamers go into their twenties and thirties.
The main issue of perception of social games is being far from reality, that it presents anti-social behavior. An example Simpson uses is World of Warcraft. This game, in reality, is truly the most reality social game ever made. For a game to be truly social, it has to have the actual act of social interaction and forming new friendships. Simpson interviewed and talked to gamers, who had met their best/lifelong friends and couples who met through social games, such as World of Warcraft. This is real world stuff; it’s real world impact on real people’s lives. As you interact with people in “real” life, people also get these “real” and personal interactions with other people through a virtual world.
A point that Simpson brings up is that the gaming community lifts people up in times of struggle. Social games has become more than just entertainment and fun, but something that is a community and a family. Games started as something fun, can become something more. Social games can bring people together; it’s a whole new different way and experience to meet people–people from all over–who have the same interest, likes, thoughts, and views with each other.
What is the future of these social games? It all comes down to personalization; to begin to collectively gather information of how to play, interact and form connections. As true matchmaking can be built into these worlds, there can be an algorithm inputted in these games that can determine who you will enjoy interacting with and who you will connect with. While these games are a misconception of being bad for society, these games set apart of being able to transcend the cultural barriers and form new connections that can be a positive impact on people’s lives.