Facebook: the biggest boost for gaming’s positive image ever

Dirty Hands (CC) Bah Humbug on Flickr

Gaming is a dirty thing.

There. I said it. It’s 2010 and still the mainstream press continues to treat games as curiosity for kids, or smear players with sensationalist headlines. Game development as a serious career choice? I’m sure your parent’s and career counselor will tell you to rather become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer.

Could you possibly consider trying to pick up a girl / boy at the bar by asking her / him to come to your place to  play some video games? Just contrast this to let’s watch a movie together, or listen to some good music. (Yeah, kids, don’t try the video games pickup line =)).

But what happens when all your normal friends and family members start broadcasting their gaming? Surely your 45 year old aunt didn’t just ice you in Mafia Wars? What’s with your younger sister hosting a barn raising in FarmVille? Is that a flirting cupcake from your loved one in Pet Society?

Facebook and social games have done more than anything ever for the positive image of gaming and games. By making our gameplay visible to everybody in social graph and making it part of the the stream of your life (baby photos, Country Story achievements, your FML moments, latest movie trailers, helping friends to retaliate in Mobsters, birthday congratulations, …), Facebook has made gaming OK.

(CC) Sean Dreilinger, on Flickr

Gaming is was a dirty thing.

Thank you Facebook.

P.S. Though you can’t pick up (yet!) somebody at bar by “Let’s play Pet Society together”, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a nice touch to send some virtual roses once you start going steady! ;-)

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12 Comments on “Facebook: the biggest boost for gaming’s positive image ever”

  1. […] and more people will start playing games online when it’s made dead simple to discover games and start playing them (i.e. […]

  2. Aamir Says:

    Facebook has definitely put social gaming in the mainstream. The amount of social games and the number of people playing them online on social networking sites just like Facebook, only attests to this.

  3. Sean Says:

    As wildly popular as social games have become, I still consider them to be a kind of dirty little secret for the vast majority of users. I can’t see telling people you met someone over a game of Mafia Wars being acceptable any time soon.

    • Sean, I can see what you mean, but I have to disagree. It not too uncommon to see different generations already playing Mafia Wars together (I’ve had several reports of 50 year old moms recruiting their 20 something sons to their mafia). Farmville’s popularity is exceptional, so can’t draw many parallels from that but it is very clear that there is plenty of social action going on.

      Sure, it still ain’t as hip as movies and music, but is way more mainstream than trying to hook up a girl over Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Live – unless you are willing to pay for it like here ;-) http://mashable.com/2010/03/24/gamecrush/

  4. ian Says:

    Facebook definitely has lead the way for social gaming and made for open to the public. And as much as this hurts me to say this as a huge game fan I still think people will see this as silly or “dirty” like you say it is. Hopefully your right and it will change because of facebook but I guess I just see it as something to do when your bored or wasting time.

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