I know the game and I know how to play it.

10 Jul

I was addicted to Moshi Monsters when I was a sophomore.

Moshi Monsters is an online game where you can adopt your own pet and mingle with your friends’ pets. It is like a social network and a game rolled into one. Just like a social networking site, you can add friends and chat with them. And just like a game, you and your pet must conquer challenges, solve puzzles, earn points to buy the coolest clothes and furniture, and catch butterflies! It was so addicting that I open my Moshi account every single day, and I’m friends with my college classmates’ monsters too. Now I’m starting to miss that game!

That was also the time when Plurk started to become famous. I was so hooked at first, but the excitement eventually died. It’s more exciting in Moshi Monsters anyway – I meet new people, and can have conversations not just with my friends, but with people all over this stuffed planet. I had buddies from Australia, China, England, Brazil, and a lot of other countries I don’t even know how to pronounce! It’s just like world friendship day everyday!

Well, the Moshi Monsters account died eventually, too. And it’s because of Facebook. But apparently, history is repeating itself.

Teenagers are using Facebook less. They are experiencing this so-called Facebook Fatigue. According to a Mashable article:

Online gaming site Roiworld surveyed 600 teens ages 13 to 17 in late April and found that teens spend two hours per day online on average, 80% of which is spent using a social network. These same teens are, however, showing signs of “Facebook Fatigue.” Nearly one in five (19%) who have an account no longer visit Facebook or are using it less.

Those who continue using their Facebook accounts do so to play games. The younger generation is becoming less interested in news feeds. They are spending more time being immersed in the online gaming world, socializing with their friends along the way.

Roiworld found that more than one-third of the teens who play games on Facebook admit to spending at least 50% of their time on the site immersed in gameplay. The online gaming trend extends far beyond Facebook, as 75% of surveyed teens claim to play games on the web.

Welcome, my friends, to the world of social gaming – social networking’s challenger. If there’s one thing that can make SNS history, it’s this.

Teens are spending offline cash to buy virtual accessories, avatars, and level-up points. This opens more opportunities to advertisers and brands for advertising. There is more interaction in playing games than liking a fan page. It’s also more fun, too!

Apparently, more and more organizations are recognizing the influence and power the cyber gaming world has to offer. In Wikinomics, Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad, mentions how social gaming has improved communication among his agents. It provides a more engaging environment for discussion, and lessens static brain instances!

Organizations have also found a way to utilize social gaming not just within the company but externally as well. More iPod and iPhone applications are being sponsored by organizations. If not, companies themselves come up with games to engage the consumer. Recently, MTV has exposed its plans of developing games for their TV viewers. This is part of MTV’s action plans to address the tv-monitor divide.

According to Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, social gaming is “one of the biggest drivers of the explosive growth in social media – it’s fun, it’s engaging, and it’s shareable.” And Judy, people are willing to spend for games. I know you can eventually come up with a wise scheme to “gain what you deserve” aka earn profit, but let consumers experience the social gaming magic first. Everything not free tends to discourage people from trying new things.

I just hope that organizations who have adapted social networking can keep up with the social gaming race too. It needs a lot of thinking to come up with the right strategy (especially if you’re a “serious” company, it’s hard to develop a game aligned to your identity, yes?), but I’m still looking forward to your brilliance. Be proactive and start strategizing now, before the remaining Facebook youngsters turn their backs on the Wall.


4 Responses to “I know the game and I know how to play it.”

  1. shakennotstirred007 July 10, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Yes indeed, corporations can tap these multiplayer online games for their own use. As I have read in our Wikinomics book chapter nine, Geek Squad discovered that the game Battlefield 2 was more effective as an internal communications medium than any other wiki/network they have tried to establish.

    Externally, it is easy to come up with games (again, use collaborative knowledge, get ideas from the internet citizens themselves) that may cater to the brands of your company.

  2. Pam, TheOrComDiva July 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    “Welcome, my friends, to the world of social gaming – social networking’s challenger. If there’s one thing that can make SNS history, it’s this.”

    I would definitely agree with this statement. In my opinion, social networking sites have a “fixed” lifespan, meaning there is its birth, its height, and its downfall. Looking back at my Friendster-addict days, it came to a point that I stopped using it, not because another SNS came into the picture but because I got bored.

    Online (social) games, I’d say, has a bigger potential of living longer in the community — you meet new people while playing, you play with your creativity, and you exercise your mind.

  3. blahblahblogsheet October 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Social gaming also has its perks! My brother is addicted to a particular social game called Secret of the Solstice. His character is on level 145+ right now so he’s able to get good items. Apparently, there are other gamers who are willing to spend $100+ for a single item, cold cash. He even has a friend who was able to sell his account for $450. Talk about earning while having fun!

  4. Justine October 1, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Your experience with Moshi Monsters is like my experience with Pet Society. Aside from the fact that both games play alike, I also lost interest in Pet Society after some time of playing it. I was just new to Facebook when I first tried to play Pet Society. I was just trying to see what the buzz was all about. I named my pet Bubastis after the pet of Ozymandias in the Watchmen comic book. I tried to make him look more like that of the comic book pet but I don’t have enough credits to buy the parts needed. So I played and I played. I eventually stopped because I realized it was not worth it.

    And so I went back to playing Call of Duty 4 online. I have more fun doing so.

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