Social gaming is playing games using social media such as Facebook, Google+, Myspace and many more.  Zynga, established in 2009 is one of the world’s leading social gaming developers and is credited with developing the popular social game, Farmville, Zynga Poker and Words with Friends.

For New Zealand players Facebook is currently the most popular platform for social gaming.  The majority of social gaming, around 61% takes place on Facebook and the others make use of Google, Myspace and Bebo.  Facebook gaming is only legal in certain countries and there are only a few countries who are authorised to offer real money gaming.  Because of this free games and apps will certainly be the norm for the future of social gaming.  Social gaming is a billion dollar industry so the question is how do they make their money if the games are free?  The social gaming platforms offer their players in game benefits, currencies and virtual goods that players can buy for real money or make use of Facebook credits which are bought with real money.

Popular Social Games

The most popular social gaming games on Facebook are slots, Mob Wars, FarmVille, Mafia Wars, CityVille, FarmTown, Slotomania, Blitz Bingo Texas Hold ‘em and Blackjack, all of these are played for free.  New Zealand players will have the option of playing by themselves, with their friends or other social gaming enthusiasts around the world.

What Makes These Games Social

These games are social because they are hosted on a social network and casino players can play games with others, share their results, extend an invitation to others to play and post awards and achievements on their profile.  The advantage of this is that players advertise the game to others and soon the game is so popular. With normal gaming the internet casinos often have to make use of advertising and affiliates to enjoy growth.

Social gaming platforms also make use of different ways to get players to share games.  They may make use of continuous goals, each goal progressing and becoming more difficult and taking more time.  Each progression moves players towards a goal offering more gaming capital.  Gaming capital comes in the form of badges, trophies, achievements and recognition and these are given to players to complete certain tasks for example sharing the game or results on the social media platform. With social gaming players are playing for virtual goods unlike traditional casinos.  Achieving these goals is what makes social gaming so popular.

Benefits of Social Gaming

Social gaming is different to normal casino games in that players can enjoy playing games in a community such as Blackjack and Poker.  Players can share their results and their winnings with others using their preferred social media platform.  Social gaming is free, although there are options to spend real money, this is a risk free option.  Players can compete against their friends, this can be by getting the highest score in slots or a great Blackjack hand.  Players will not really see this type of sharing at traditional casinos.

Social gaming is a great way to enjoy free games and be able to share scores and tips with their friends. This platform is accessible to almost anyone as most people nowadays have a social media account.  Social gaming is growing in popularity as developers produce more games and incentives for playing.