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A Brief History of Social Games

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-poke-you-with-tim dept.

Social Networks 33

Tarinth writes "Social games (such as FarmVille, etc.) are hardly new, because games have been part of recorded history for thousands of years. An infographic has integrated many of the key games from history (starting with Egypt's Senet game from 3100 BC), showing major milestones along the way, such as play-by-mail, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: the Gathering. Today's cultural phenomenon of social games, which might better be better called 'social network games,' is the confluence of several trends ranging from asynchronous gameplay, social play, and virtual economies — all of which are shown within the infographic."

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33 comments

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32328194)

first post

News for nerds? (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328312)

Wouldn't a history of antisocial gaming be more appropriate for slashdot?

Re:News for nerds? (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328612)

Nerds (and/or geeks) all around the world play games like Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering to obtain all sorts of social contact... Just because said social interaction occurs in places with names like "Guard Tower" or within one's basement doesn't make it any less social. ;)

Re:News for nerds? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#32330208)

Claire Standish: So academic clubs aren't the same as other kinds of clubs.
John Bender: Ah... but to dorks like him, they are. What do you guys do in your club?
Brian Johnson: Well, in physics we... we talk about physics, properties of physics.
John Bender: So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?

VGA Planets (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328388)

Good times. A privateer gorby, some cloaked ships towing in victims. So much fun. I remember picking up copies of Computer Shopper to get phone numbers for local bbs's that hosted games and even a meet up with other players from one of them. I think it was the first PC game I played with human opponents.

Re:VGA Planets (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 3 years ago | (#32332716)

You're not alone! Ah, the skills of making alliances with other races (Borg/Crystal -- Colonial/Cylon, etc) and trying to plan three moves ahead at least... and then winning because the other team simply ran out of fuel! Ha!

Good times for the novice web surfer and gamer!

Kings of Chaos? (1)

Silviiro (1386523) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328402)

I totally expected it to get a mention. IIRC it was the first popular game with the system of "click to help this person."

Re:Kings of Chaos? (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328610)

I have no idea which one was, but i'm pretty sure this goes back to the counters that said "Click here to give pikachu another watt to help on his quest for world domination!".

Excellent manufactured blog post (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328520)

Let's see, we have completely unoriginal commentary on a hot topic, "social gaming". I suppose this is separate from that other non-social gaming where you play Monopoly or Clue by yourself. "I like to think of social games as "games you play with other people" (usually-but not always-your friends)." What an amazing insight! We've got a fancy graphic which is actually remarkably information-free, with a full-size poster available. The entire post is 814 words, not long at all. We've got a hot, sexy search term "social network games", OMG I'm getting horny here. I mean, come on people, the title tries to warn you off! "Internet Entrepreneur 2.0"? Who would possibly take what this man says seriously? But the entire post is tailor-made to be linked to and consumed in five minutes by today's internet audience, desperately searching for that next hit of novelty...anything to stave off the crushing boredom that is life without want.

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328652)

Agree, it plays with "fancy, currently fad" words like "social gaming". BS. All games are meant to be social. Even single player games, because you end up talking about it with others that maybe you would have never talked to before, just because of the game. Bleh.

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

Tarinth (1038652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32329090)

I think we're in violent agreement then. What is obvious to you (the social nature of games), however, isn't particularly obvious to most people.

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

Nukenin (646365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32329568)

What is obvious to you (the social nature of games), however, isn't particularly obvious to most people.

Do you really think "most people" are that dimwitted?

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

Tarinth (1038652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32329704)

We have a new terms which is "social games," which implies that the intersection of games and social-behavior is a new to many people. The fact that this term is in use, and that it has caught on, is evidence of this. I don't think "most people" are dimwitted, however, although I do think that games are not yet a central part of the lives of most people, which perhaps explains why the term has caught on.

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32331720)

Funny though, that the game the summary lists as an example (Farmville), is essentially a single player game, with just the "Talk about it" social part.

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328702)

You mean you actually read it?
The topic is far too idiotic for me to actually spend those five minutes.

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

EasyComputer (797633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32329176)

You mean you actually read it? The topic is far too idiotic for me to actually spend those five minutes.

Haha, But not idiotic enough that you won't spend five minutes to post to the topic?

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32329032)

Sounds like you need some social gaming with society with socially exciting socials!

Re:Excellent manufactured blog post (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 3 years ago | (#32334540)

Yeah, I read the infographic and the subjective stuff is terrible and hard to ignore. The objective stuff is often just wrong, implying connections that weren't there, and missing other very important ones. The history and chronology was all off, and the examples used frequently not even representative of the trend he's trying to illustrate.

A historical approach may have needed to be ten times as long, but it also would have been actually worth reading.

Social RPGS ... Mafia Wars? Really? That's the best you can do?

Infographic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32328808)

-n. --An "informative" picture composed of words, lines, bubbles, arrows, colors, clouds, or kittens. Used like a chart, graph, timeline, or illustration yet requires none of the forethought. Also useful for creating arbitrary links between random points of data.

Social -adj. --When added to a noun, such as "media", "networking", or "gaming", implies potential for making money on the Internet.

WTF? (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32328838)

"Infographic?" Really?

"Diagram" or "Flowchart" or even fucking "Image" weren't pretentious enough, you had to hit us with fucking "Infographic?"

Strip Dungeons and Dragon FTW! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32329584)

n/t

Re:Strip Dungeons and Dragon FTW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32336016)

In each of the campaigns I played, we had one woman and 4-5 men. 85% sounds like the wrong kind of sausage party.

Re:Strip Dungeons and Dragon FTW! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32338612)

I've got news for you... that "one woman" was a man too! But if you were playing "Strip Dungeons and Dragons", you'd already know that!

By the way... what exactly is the right kind of sausage party?

!Interesting. (2, Funny)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32331040)

After spending approximately 2 seconds of my life analyzing the infographic, only to realize it is just a picture of the ways people have been wasting time for the past millennium, I have concluded that I need to get the fuck off /. and go outside.

Errors and omissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32332306)

MTG should come directly after D&D
Pinball should be precluded by other parlor games (pool, darts, bowling)
BBS Door games and MUDS are practically the same thing and should be linked
However, free-to-play MMO's are a lot more like Door games than MUDs
Web-browser games should be precluded by Warcraft (Tower Defense)
No console games until X-Box Live

P.S. Why is settlers of catan so popular?!

Re:Errors and omissions (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#32336420)

P.S. Why is settlers of catan so popular?!

I hear settlers of catan is a "gateway" game leading newbies to more complex RPG games, and allows for a combination of cards, competitive strategy and if you like, roleplaying. I haven't played it yet, but there are podcasts out there that mention it, like "Fear the Boot." The point is that it's like playing a light RPG but at a family/friends level without the stigmas of multi-day campaigns and basement dueling.

Interative-wiki-map-thingy-idea (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#32332590)

Won't someone with more free time than I have code an HTML-5 -based association-node-map-thingy that you can interactively browse and edit in wiki-style?

It would be nice to see how different things relate to each other and how. I'd love to browse around the history of gaming, with games linking each other based on whatever criteria makes sense. HTML-5 would make this doable without flash. :)

There's some DB project working on this kind of associative mapping too, but the name escapes me.

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