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January 6, 2010 / Joe Osborne

Coffee Talk: Have We Found the Next Gaming Platform on Facebook?

An interesting and somewhat involved article popped up on Gamasutra last week comparing Blizzard’s World of Warcraft with the social networking site Facebook (yes, WoW has become this ubiquitous). The pairing-up looks into the logistics of each platforms’ interfaces and modes of interaction. The argument seems to be this, though we highly suggest you give it a read: WoW and Facebook are more similar than we previously thought due to both their uses as social platforms and the way in which they impose social conventions. Not to mention, the modes of interaction they mold through their respective interfaces.

Being a recently resurrected WoW player myself and a resident of many virtual worlds in the past, I can dig it. What is surprising is this is not the first nod to Facebook as a potential gaming platform and at this point, it’s quite possible. We can thank games like Farmville for this. Join us after the cut for a bit more on the possibilities. world-of-warcraft-a

However, just because users can play games within Facebook, does that mean that it can really be the next platform? Will we eventually see the website become more than a social network; perhaps a host for elaborate Flash games that connect players through the Facebook network and interface? Gamasutra’s Michael Thomsen says that it’s ultimately up to us, the users and players.

“As we continue to wrestle with where exactly the art of interaction comes from, all signs point back to the users. What will inspire or surprise them? What will make them more efficient? What will give them the tools to express a fuller version of themselves within the boundaries of the environment you’ve created? What purpose do those boundaries serve,” says Thomsen.

What do you say, Geekadelphians? Are you skeptical of Facebook becoming more of a robust gaming hub or are you patiently awaiting closed beta for Facebook’s first official MMO (perhaps you’ve harvested your 1 millionth crop in Farmville)? The comments box awaits your words of wisdom!

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