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Social Gaming: How social dynamics are reshaping games

February 3, 2011

We’ve all had our Facebook feeds inundated with Farmville activity—a testament to the addictive and viral potential of social games. Shortly after accepting my mom’s friend request on Facebook last year, my News Feed was full of Farmville notifications about her Farmville activity.

Six months into her stint on Farmville, all of the notifications and Farmville activity abruptly stopped. Curious, I jokingly teased my mom that Facebook just wasn’t the same without her Farmville notifications. I asked her why she stopped and she responded, “When I found myself planning my lunch break around my Farmville farming, I realized it wasn’t the most productive use of my time.”

There are powerful lessons here for marketers and content creators. You want engagement? Repeat visitors? Viral sharing? Perhaps a simple challenge and a competitive element is the way to go.

I’ve never attempted to cultivate crops virtually a la Farmville (or physically for that matter), but there are other ways that social games have become a part of my everyday life. I use the Nike+ network to challenge my running friends (and strangers) to distance challenges. Running isn’t always the first thing I want to do when I get up in the morning, but the added incentive of competition (and camaraderie) normally gives me the oomph I need to get moving.  

If you think that social games are just a fad, think again. Social gaming is here to stay, and here are a few indicators as to why:

·       More than 200 million people play social games every month

·       Social gaming is expected to generate $1 billion in 2011

·       It is rumored that RIM will incorporate social gaming to their popular BlackBerry

Join us at JWT on Monday, February 7th from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. for Social Gaming: How Social Dynamics are Reshaping Games, a panel that will discuss how social games are becoming more pervasive across all walks of life.

 This panel is moderated by Nick Parish, the North American Editor for Contagious Magazine and will bring together a variety of experts from the gaming industry, including:

 ·      Manny Anekal, Director of Brand Advertising, Zynga New York

·       Bill Clifford, VP, Global Ad Sales, Wild Tangent 

·       Josh Shabtai, Emerging Media Strategist, JWT  

·       Keith Katz, VP of Marketing, Open Feint 

Register for Social Gaming: How Social Dynamics are Reshaping Games” here.

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