Social Gaming

Social games aren’t too different from traditional online gaming. Both types focus on entertainment appealing to a wide audience, with simple mechanics and relatively short periods of play. Yet unlike traditional gaming, social games are distributed through social networks and existing relationships with other users through invite systems, news feed postings, user-to-user notifications or paid acquisition.

Social gaming allows games to create unique content and characters by tapping into a player’s existing social network. This social DNA has made games such as Crazy Planets, Mafia Wars, and Farmville incredibly successful.

According to the

    Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2010 Report,
there are three core elements a game or service should have to be considered social:

1. Social graph data is an aggregate profile of revealed preferences such as your friends, interests, demographics, and lifestyle information.
2. Game play should be casual and designed for short duration, leveraging-high frequency and brief visits.
3. Games are usually free to play with revenue generated through virtual goods.

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