1. Gaming is natural and educational
All parts of the animal kingdom seem to play games, from dolphins in the sea to lion cubs on the savannah; it could be seen as one of the natural common denominators like the need for air, food, water and shelter. Often games are used as educational tools for youngsters in helping form the communication tools necessary for survival – next time you are zapping a zombie remember that!
2. Bonding and social-ness
Through the gaming and social networks there is the chance to interact with other gamers and form the social bonds that bring us together. We can play with family, friends or total strangers in a safe and casual environment.
3. You don’t have to be a ‘gamer’
David Bishop of PopCap says ‘A wonderful thing about social gaming is the space it has created for video games – helping non-gamers realise playing games is fun and they don’t have to be a ‘gamer’.’ This has helped social and mobile games appeal to a much wider audience than if they targeted their more committed console cousins.
4. It’s cheap and cheerful
Of course it helps when they are cheap. Not €60for a game but 99 cents or completely FREE. This makes social and mobile games more attractive and more accessible in all parts of the globe. The ‘financial barriers to entry’ are very low, unlike most console gaming or some PC gaming.
Accessibility is also eased through the gaming platforms that have been developed to accommodate large numbers of social gamers. Here the technological advances mean that almost any type of game can be created and made available to the world.
6. Anyone can play
Social games have broad appeal to any age group, gender, nationality, race, or religion. They are generally easy to understand, available in different languages and often cross cultural boundaries very well, meaning that practically anyone can play.
7. Have device – will play!
The growth of the hugely popular mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has also increased accessibility of these games to larger numbers of people. These devices are carried everywhere and rarely turned off so gaming has become a 24-hour industry all round the world.
8. Killing time
Unlike with console gaming, time commitments with social and mobile games are generally short. That means you can pick them up between tasks and can put them down in an instant when the boss is looking! Most of us need to kill time during the day at some point – waiting for a bus, train or appointment for example. Instead of reading magazines, now we can hop on to Level 3245 of Candy Crush Saga!
9. Fun and game variety
Of course, while gaming can be educational, most of us play for fun and entertainment. The sheer variety of games available means people can play full time and never be bored. There are over 150,000 downloadable game apps on the App store alone and 140 new app submissions are made every day.
Social gaming allows players to do battle with each other, and the element of competition is attractive to many. One-to-one competitions, leader boards and tournaments all contribute to this. There is also a section of social gaming that is dedicated to gambling – for real money or play money – which has been drawing many gamers in for years.
What about you? Why do you play social games? Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below…