[This was originally posted on my personal blog www.reachingperfection.com]
As a quick note, I've gotten some great feedback on my first two posts and that makes me a very happy many. Comments encourage me to keep on going, cuz some of yall know how lazy I can get sometimes. You should go tell some friends or something. Speaking of telling friends...
Everyone enjoys doing it. For those of us in school, we like socializing in class, at lunch, on the phone, texting, out to Burger King, etc. For those of us on the job, we like to chat between work, on smoke breaks, during lunch, and when we should probably be working. Socializing is a natural thing that we do, a fun and pleasurable activity that requires other people to execute effectively. So by realizing this and then what this blog is about, you know exactly what I'm going to get into ;).
Do YOU know how powerful social communication is in games? If you've played WoW, consider how fun it was to quest and play by yourself. Now how much more fun was it when you joined a guild? Even further how much more did you enjoy yourself when you got Teamspeak or Vent? Now for the older generation; remember when you used to play Bejeweled all the time by yourself in the arcade or on yahoo games? Now how much more fun was it when you chatted with a friend about it and made Bejeweled into a competition? This example can be applied to many arcade games on Facebook. I know a few people who only go back to play a game when someone has beaten their high score. That my friends... is a powerful feat that would not be possible if we weren't able to be social with each other.
NetworkingNow to the other word in the title: Networking. What's a network? How bout a multitude of objects connected to each other in various ways? That sounds good enough to me. The worldwide web is a network of websites. A computer network is just that, a bunch of computer connected together. Pretty simple concept eh? What's the advantage of a network? The fact that everything can get to everything else on that particular network. All it takes is a couple steps here and there and each object can interface with another. This is the exact same way that hallways connect all the rooms in a building. A building could technically be a network of rooms. From each room in the building you can get to any other without having to traverse outside of the building. That is quite the convenience.
Connecting the Dots
So social networking is obviously being able to socialize with everyone in a particular network. So the more people in that particular network the more people you have access to. Now you can socialize with MILLIONS AND BILLIONS of people rather than just your local friends and family. You thought playing Goldeneye or Mario Party was fun with the 7 friends that you have? How bout playing Halo or Call of Duty with the thousands of people playing at the same time? Fun, fun, and more fun. Now competing against your dad for the high score on Tetris becomes competing with your dad, uncle, sister-in-law, cousin, second cousin you never knew existed (and thought was hot 'til you found out you were related), and that cousin's boyfriend. Phew! Let's all hope for virtual family reunions to take over instead of those ones where you have to actually meet people. :P
But that is just the basics of the power of social networking. It goes deeper than that my friends. Much deeper. You'll be surprised what social networking can do for games. You've already witnessed it for yourself. You may not now it yet, but you have. Trust me. I'll cover that tomorrow. Keep me filled in with comments, feel free to socialize with me on any of those famous networks we call Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube. Or hell even on here through comments. Adios for now peepz.