Social Gaming becomes a generational influencer

January 19, 2011 9:33 am 0 comments

Zynga, owner of famous online video games Farmville and Cityville is a trend and phenomena to be recognized. CityVille, release just months ago, is now the most popular Faebook game ever released, topping 100 million players. That is one half of all social gamers in just 40 days. I had avoided the countless invitations by many Facebook friends to come work on their Farmville farms (including even my mother’s farm!) But when CityVille came out, I had to at least sign up, and look at the concept. Since then, Cityville has been adding 400 thousand gamers a day. That is staggering.

But only 30 minutes online was enough to know how the addiction of the Monopoly like game could become addictive. I haven’t been back since.

Today, when Zynga sent me an email, inviting me to redeem 10 City Cash tokens (the value of about $1.50), it prompted me to again realize the impact of this social gaming company and trend.

Inside Network says that “2010 will be remembered as the year that games on social networks became a billion dollar business and transformed the way millions more people socialized with friends online.” However, they say the future is all about “virtual goods.”

To begin to see the impact of how social gaming will have on culture and people, it is good to begin by looking at Zynga, the leader in online social gaming.

Their company video is worth watching to get a taste of their culture.

Here is a summary of some of the key points made by the founder Mark Pincus and his team:

  • Zynga’s mission is “connecting the world through games.”
  • Social games should be playgrounds for personalities
  • Until video games came along, games were inherently social. We would play them with other people…now we think (again) who we are going to play it with – not what machine we are going to play it on
  • Social games give you the chance to create new memories and feelings with people that matter.
  • It’s almost as if we are not building games, but we are building social experiences
  • This is about the next generation of social networking. And we are just getting started.
  • We want this to be a movement – not just a company
  • We move much faster than most other people are used to.
  • Our company is based upon meritocracy. Either you are excited about that or it just fries your brain. It is all about performance, and it’s all about what works. And that is the heart of a meritocracy.
  • Build traffic or build revenue
  • Zynga is more like a lifestyle than it is a job
  • If you produce results, you get a lot coming back to you.
  • Social gaming is a historical opportunity. There is no Google of gaming. Everything is exploding around us in terms of virtual goods and social networks.
  • This is the big turning point when it becomes something that the public does.
  • The size of this is only limited by the number of people that have a device that can access our gaming experiences.
  • We can be the way that friends connect with their friends and family, and that is a really powerful place.
  • We are going to conquer the world.
  • And we are.

This is going to have an impact on the future workplace. New generations will have a new perspective in fun and social interaction.  People are interested in social experiences. Not only at home, but also at work.Social gaming is proof that we went from playing board games with each other to playing with machines, and we are not back to wanting to play with people. What does that say about the future workplaces? There is a desire by people to demonstrate and exhibit their own personality.

If Generation Y has learned to be social through gaming, then how will that culture affect the future workplace?

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