Games in Social Networks

Ferris wheelI don’t really understand all the hostility towards games in social networking sites. Aside from the annoyance of being told about all the gaming achievements of each person who plays games, which can be turned off even in Facebook, what is the problem with other people playing games?

Games have always been a part of social interaction, and not just for children. Games are fun, and we all need some fun. We play cards, bridge, mah jong, chess, checkers and so on; not to mention sports like tennis, squash and golf. Sports are played not only for the fitness aspects (don’t forget the golf buggies) but because people are competitive. We like to pitch ourselves against others in a competitive environment and strive to win, and we like the feeling when we do win.

Social networks like Facebook and now Google+ can accommodate all types of social interaction. I like Google+ for the discussions it makes possible and the new people I am meeting and engaging with. I don’t have a problem with the introduction of games. It was inevitable. I’m pleased, though, to hear that there will be a separate area for them so I don’t have to hear whenever someone has reached a new level in Farmville or needs help with a job in Mafia Wars.

I don’t have a problem, or even a feeling of superiority, about people who play Farmville or Mafia Wars. I play games in Facebook myself, although these days I restrict myself to just one game. Games can be distracting and a good excuse for procrastination. I have met some lovely people within Australia and around the world by playing games; people who I would not otherwise have met; people who have been there for me when I need encouragement or sympathy in more serious areas of life.

Social media is about life, and games are a part of life.