When given careful consideration, the concept of social gaming is not as radical as it may have at first seemed. As the 2012 Kony video proved, an increasing number of nonprofit ventures are targeting a much younger audience with their message, in order to infiltrate the most influential social media demographic and instil core social values in the next generation of adults.
With this in mind, there is no finer way to access young minds than through the concept of gaming, especially when it is hosted within the framework of social media. The continuing success of the world’s first social gaming experience Farmville more than proves this point, as even today it attract three million daily users and generates significant income for charitable ventures.
The Future for Social Gaming: Introducing Farmville 2
It therefore came as something of a surprise when the Zynga vice president announced this month that his firm were releasing a sequel to the still immensely popular original. Quite aside from the fact that social games are flexible and fluid entities, in which any number of modifications can be made through simple updates, the fact that the Farmville original remains one of Facebook’s most popular gaming experiences would seemingly render any potential sequel as being unnecessary.
As one of social gaming’s most influential and innovative players, however, Zynga have been quick to point out that their latest game is far more than a reincarnation of the original Farmville title. Instead, the design team has recognised the recent evolution of social gaming and its players, and used advancing technology to bring virtual farming up to date with its real time alternative. After all, the key to social gaming success lies in replicating the real world and its challenges in a virtual setting, and Zynga’s approach has been to start again with a blank canvas.
The Embodiment of Social Challenges throughout the World
While some may consider the development of a secondary Farmville game as a crude attempt to boost Zynga’s revenue, it certainly has merits in the wider context of social gaming. For example, the world itself is a constantly evolving entity, and its residents are forced to face a number of new social challenges with every passing year. In addition to this, technology also continues to experience rapid advancement, which impacts heavily on the real world tools used to effect social change.
If social games and concepts do not react to these changes, then they will lose their relevance and discourage players from participating. Not only this, but the importance of social gaming as an educational tool would also be significantly diminished, as children and young adults would learn little from outdated social issues or potentially ineffective solutions. In this respect, it is of pivotal importance that social gaming continues to innovate, as otherwise it will become a redundant concept.
The Bottom Line
Zynga’s release of a second Farmville game is significant for the social gaming world, as it paves the way for others to evolve their titles and create more purposeful experiences for players across the globe. By modifying the way in which the game plays and looks, Zynga are making a commitment to effecting social change and empowering those who wish to make their own individual contribution.
Guest post by contributed by Lewis Humphries, technology writer for UKhost4u.com