Xbox Live-like game chat has gone mainstream, it seems. The Washington Post says a 31-year-old mom and clinical social worker who has plenty of “real world” friends but sometimes catches up with them in a “Scrabble-like” cellphone game called Words with Friends is a good example of social gamers. Words with Friends is her favorite among all features and apps on her iPhone, and she taps into it about 10 times a day – not just to play the game but to chat with friends in it (sometimes more than in email, she told the Post). She’s far from alone. Forty percent of Facebook’s 500 million users play social games, as do more than 200 million people every month, with their numbers growing “by the thousands every day,” according to the Post, which adds that social gaming just passed email as the No. 2 online activity (after social networking), citing Nielsen figures. So the more social – not just communicative – a tool is, the more popular, it seems. How to distinguish between the two? Maybe social is a little less formal and a little more spontaneous and at least potentially multidirectional (not just two-way or just involving two persons). “The most popular social games are collaborations,” the Post reports. But watch out for social gaming that makes you feel obligated to join in, stay involved, or level up (see this clever essay on Farmville, which I blogged about here).
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Mobile rules in the US now too
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments