Its no secret that social media is huge worldwide. There are a colossal 1.43 billion social networking users globally. Gaming is just one of the many industries that are utilizing this by using their common ground, such as certain successful games, and mutual experiences to create conversation and engagement. On video platform YouTube there is a massive 9.6 million Call of Duty videos that have been shared and a total of 12.8 million that are tagged with the phrase ‘game playing’. These figures speak for themselves and add weight to the point that gaming and social media are merging seamlessly to form a new age of gaming that is not only interactive but also sociable virtually and physically.
Sony are way ahead of the game on this score by integrating a ‘share’ button onto one of their new PlayStation 4 consoles controllers. This will allow users to use Twitter or Facebook to brag about scores, broadcast your game via a live feed or ask for help, tips and even take control in tricky situations. This has got to be a sign of things to come, with such a huge corporation including social sharing into a top selling product.
On a slightly lesser scale online games, across the web are adding social buttons to preexisting games as they are beginning to understand players want the ability to share as well as being an excellent way to use these ‘brand ambassadors’ to spread the word of the game which is inadvertent marketing tool.
A great example of it over at roulette.co.uk is on their homepage and blog as well as on every game featured. This is also the case with their mobile apps, which statistically people are even more likely to use to share with their friends and followers. The basic reason believed to be the cause of games hitting the social networks is that games as basic as the first board games were meant to be enjoyed as a group, whether that be family or friends. They were invented to kill time, entertain and encourage people to be social. Those core principles are still the same.
With gaming also being a 24-hour hobby, for many that partake, this makes social distribution even more apt. Regardless of different time zones games are constantly being played therefore by giving people the option to share socially, a usually solitary game played by someone alone in their lounge becomes more interesting when shared with people also playing around the world. Games that weren’t intended to be social or interactive now have the scope to do so and are growing in supporters and consumers by the day.
Flipping the emphasis around onto gaming within social media Facebook is allowing increasing numbers of games to be played within the platform as ‘plug ins’. They have introduced more categories including ‘ Casino’, ‘Word’ and ‘Strategy’ within tabs in a specific ‘Gaming’ area of the site making the proportion of gamingvs social content more equal than it’s ever been before.
If Sony are introducing sharing buttons onto their actual hardware, who knows where the limits are for future consoles and games, needless to say the future is bright for sharing in game playing.