Social Gaming = The New Jargon

Going to link an article here that will lead into my point:

developerWorks: You know, with Web 2.0, a common explanation out there is Web 1.0 was about connecting computers and making information available; and Web 2 is about connecting people and facilitating new kinds of collaboration. Is that how you see Web 2.0?

Berners-Lee: Totally not. Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is, of course, a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means. If Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis, then that is people to people. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along. And in fact, you know, this Web 2.0, quote, it means using the standards which have been produced by all these people working on Web 1.0. It means using the document object model, it means for HTML and SVG, and so on. It’s using HTTP, so it’s building stuff using the Web standards, plus JavaScript, of course. So Web 2.0, for some people, it means moving some of the thinking client side so making it more immediate, but the idea of the Web as interaction between people is really what the Web is. That was what it was designed to be as a collaborative space where people can interact.

For those who don’t know, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. He is…The Man.

I hate jargon. Can’t stand it. For me, using jargon is like putting a dress on a pig, yadda yadda yadda…you know the story.

Social Gaming is the new jargon in the gaming industry (…for this year anyway…), and…it angers me. It angers me because they people out there using the phrase know that whenever they use the term “social gaming”, they are essentially stating the incredibly obvious. Just with those two words, they effectively put their nails to the chalk board and expect nobody to cringe. In preparing my mind for Austin this year, I know that I’m going to have mini-strokes because that term will be used a lot.

Games are about being social. Games are about community and bringing people together. Games were built to be a social experience waaaaay before Facebook was even an idea…so I have no clue why some insist on calling games that are ON Facebook, “social games”. The answer is usually because Facebook is a social network. Sure…and so is every other platform on a network: XBox Live, Sony Home…your frickin phone!. Do we call games on those platforms “social games”? No…we don’t. Why? CAUSE IT’S FRICKIN OBVIOUS! ;). We just call what we do on the XBox “gaming”. That’s it. No gimmicks. No jargon needed.

Hmmmm….I wonder why those who are trying to sell us Facebook games feel the need to use gimmicks and jargon by using the word “social” when no other platform needs to. Oh…right…because they aren’t games.

Yup…”social gaming” has become the new “polish” around the office here. An soon to be (…if not, already…) overused phrase that is used to state absolutely nothing.

So….in closing, I’ll just fix a bit of what Tim says above:

“So Social Gaming, for some people, it means moving some of the thinking client side so making it more immediate, but the idea of the Game as interaction between people is really what Gaming is. That was what it was designed to be as a collaborative space where people can game.”

D out.

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