Tags Posts tagged with "Social Games @en"

Social Games @en

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D186-Molder Battlestar Galactica RPGThat battleships once they have completed the operational life can become floating museums is not new. But the story of D186 Mölders, former missile destroyer of the German Navy, launched in 1967 and retired from active service in 2000, is special.Transformed into an attraction of the Deutsches Marinemuseum at Wilhelmshaven, the vessel these days (from February 4 to February 8) took part in theProject Exodus – An educational live role-playing game”, which analyses the narrative structure of the Tv series Battlestar Galactica in its re-imagined version of 2003.

The idea was to identify socially relevant topics and analogies between the fantastic narrative of Battlestar Galactica and western societies from 11 September 2001 to today and to  implement these in form of a political educational live role-playing game. On the basis of this role-playing game, that for the time being will be done only in Germany (but it is not excluded that it may be set in the future also in other countries), the ship has been temporarily renamed Hesperios, a space cargo that having picked up a rescue capsule is through events unknown to us involved in the war between humans and Cylons.

HesperiosBy discovering hidden or repressed personality aspects and testing the social acceptance of these in a secure setting, participants personalities are developed, and new possibilities for social participation are created in a sustainable manner. According to the promoters of the project (which was sold out) since there are not “spectators”, in this kind of games personal emotions can be explored more deeply, and participation is facilitated for people who are self-conscious about performing publicly and who would therefore avoid more traditional theatrical forums. Which should make the method of live role-playing (RPG) an effective device in the field of political education.

Pending that even in Italy political education passi from the theatricarepresentation of TV talk shows to which we are all too accustomed for years to experiments of “virtual realityand live role playing like this, we suggest you to continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is even on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it and on Paper.li, as well as on Youtube).

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    Social network games cover

    Angry BirdsSocial games are a relatively recent phenomenon in the gaming industry, yet it is estimated already worth over 2 billion dollars a year in revenues. Talking about “social game” actually means talking about card games, games that take place on social networks such as Facebook, Mmos, Mmorpgs or virtual worlds, games for mobile devices, or the classic “board games“, but those to which financial analysts often refer in recent years are mainly the “social network game“, an industry dominated by Zynga, rather than games for smartphones and tablets, where to contend for leadership are three operators, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the same as Zynga and International Game Technology (IGT), with other houses like Rovio, which can still claim success as the Angry Birds, played from over 200 million players / month.

    Just IGT after several years of crisis has recovered leveraging on social game (especially with games like slots and poker) to the point where it becomes attractive for the Italian company Gtech (ie the former Lottomatica of De Agostini group ). According to rumors spread by the financial press, the Italian group would be ready to offer up to $ 4 billion in order to take the control of the Los Angeles company so doubling, in fact, its size, becoming one of the leader of the industry. If all goes as planned, De Agostini (currently owner of 60% of Gtech) should in fact be the first stakeholder of the new group, with about 40% of equity after the integration between the two companies.

    Igt Double WinBut that’s not all: according to the calculations of Research and Markets analysts the world market for social games in 2019 will exceed 17 billion U.S. dollars, with an average annual growth rate of over 16%. A real explosion: for comparison the entire music industry had a turnover last year of about 13.66 billion U.S. dollars and in accordance with the Credit Suisse will, thanks to the new streaming platforms like Spotify, Deezer and Beats Music (this one from just purchased from Apple), from 17.5 to 18 billion dollars by 2018 and then stabilize again. At the base of this explosion on the one hand there is the increasing number of smartphones and tablets, on the other hand the steady increase of players who use social networks (200 million active users at the time, 400 million those expected by 2019: returning to the comparison, users who listen to music on demand should instead go from 13 million at the end 2013 to 148 million in 2025).

    ViximoA so much growing market, if forecasts are confirmed, that there will be something for everyone and everyone will try to diversify as much as possible is the offer both in terms of new games and in terms of channels: for Viximo.com, for example, despite Facebook remains the number one social network game industry with a market share of just under 30% of the total, the “casual gamers“, and that in general those who do not use Facebook to play, should post already at the end of 2014 a turnover of close to 5.6 billion dollars against 3.2 billion estimated in 2013. Numbers so strong that there is a long time who is also equipped “by hand” in order to exploit to its advantage.

    Do you know, for example, how much can be worth a character “grow” by an experienced player and then sold to others? According to a person with direct acknoledgment of the matter contacted by Mondivirtuali.it, you can currently get on quietly to earn 300-500 euro which means that if he/she sells usually a couple a month a skilled player can earn about a thousand Euros per month,which is not so bad in these days for a self-employer/gamer. If you want to know more continue to follow us as well on the website also through our Twitter account and Facebook fanpage (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Scoop.it and Paper.li).

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    Zynga

    ZyngaSo finally Zynga too landed on Wall Street: for the world’s most popular social games developer (which according to the latest numbers of AppData.com has over 224 million of monthly average users, more than four times the number of fans of “social” games versions of Electronic Arts titles, 54.3 million, or Microsoft, 48.2 million) this meant collecting 1 billion dollars by placing 100 million shares (approximately 14% of its capital) to $ 10 each.

    The curious thing is that since Zynga was evaluated again in August of $ 11.15 billion share in the hands of its founder, Mark Pincus, approximately 15%, was worth, in theory, just under 1.7 billion, while now that Zynga was valued about 7.15 billion (indeed, based on the $ 9.5 closing the first day of trading it was worth just over 6.8 billion) Pincus has become “poorer” of about 670 million dollars (its share now value only 1.002 billion instead of 1.672 billion as estimated in August). I am sure he will not complain too much though, because after the Ipo of Google in 2004 which collected $ 1.9 billion, Zynga’s Ipo is the second largest ever for a dot.com, while some doubt could come to the new shareholders.

    Sure, Castelville goes very well with 37.1 million players on a monthly basis, but by early December the daily average players number seem to want to stabilize, while Citiville with its 48.8 million players monthly average remains far (eve if it continues to lose players) and even Farmville with the monthly average of 31.9 million players is not very far. If anything, this is a”curious” data of this year end, that some “oldies” from Farmville itself to Adventure World (9.4million) are able to remain at good levels if not to be back on their feet after the decline of recent months.

    Who knows if this will help make Pincus to strengthen its business model and extract value for shareholders? Certainly the recent departure of some managers including Owen Van Natta (who was also among the first venture partners of Zynga) is not a good sign although some sources have pointed out that Van Natta had given his willingness to remain for no more than one or two years in the Board of directors of the company, that in the meantime is recruiting specialists with which to strengthen its management structure. However, a delicate phase, as confirmed in recent years the problems by Linden Lab, which is not always good for a company and its shareholders.

    Life social gamesMeanwhile, the report comes to us from Italy of a new “social game”, Life (www.lifesocialgame.com) that presents itself as a “browser game (totally Italian) with a social platform independent and inspired to Game of Life” (a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970)”. Characterized by simple rules, minimalist graphics and multi-language support (but also of a regular fanpage on Facebook) the game and its community intend to constantly interact and merge: it provides the platform to the individual cell identity (which may or may not correspond to the real identity of users) and is able to provide the basis for simple forms of communication (such as notifications or messages) and meeting, and users can choose whether to participate in the strategy game or just enjoy the community. A rival perhaps more of Facebook than Zynga, developed by MaD-Projects and we will see in the coming months if he can “break“in the increasingly competitive world of social media.

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      Zynga Dream Zoo

      Zynga CastelvilleZynga looks at Groupon, which debuts on Wall Street with a sound +30,55% at the closing of the first day of listing and jumps to a theoretical valuation of $ 16,65 billion, and hopes to imitate as soon as possible the group founded by Andrew Mason in November 2008, that is little more than ayear after Mark Pincus (former financial analyst of Lazard Freres & Co. with subsequent experiences in the venture capital for Asian Capital Partners, Bain & Co. e Columbia Capital, who later became a “serial startupper” and founder of Freeloader, Tribe Networks and SupportSoft) had the idea of launching into the world of social networking co-founding Zynga, in July 2007. Meanwhile, the social games publisher most popular in the world has seen its revenues nearly double in the third quarter to306.8 million dollars (from 170.7 millions a year earlier), however, with costs rising even more rapidly, so that the net profit for the quarter reduced to 12.5 million (-54% vs 27.2 millions in the third quarter of 2010), result that is better than the 1.4 million in second quarter (in the second quarter 2010 net income was 14 million).

      The cost increase seems related to the development of three new games on which the company bet to counter the attack launched by Electronic Arts with its The Sims SocialCastleVilleDream Zoo and Hidden Chronicles, that should be launched within a couple of weeks. In the first case it is the third setting of the “Ville” series after FarmVille (which is still the sixth most popular apps on Facebook with 28.5 million monthly average users) and CityVille (second best application and still most popular social game with 53.3 million monthly average users), In the second case it is a game tied to the theme of the zoo,so far only partially developed within the same CityVille. Finally Hidden Chronicles explore entirely new ground for Zynga, that of games of skill, and will be based on the search for hidden objects, the restoration of puzzles and exploration of the mysterious Ramsey Manor, all complemented by “unique characters that need your help to protect a closely guarded secret” designed with a photorealistic style that recalls the Second Life avatars.

      Zynga Hidden ChroniclesOverall, Zynga still enjoys a good margin ahead of Electronic Arts, with more than 204.6 million monthly average players against the 65.1 million monthly average players of the rival, but The Sims Social is defending well (although last week accused a problem with the loss of nearly 2 million users on a monthly basis) and with 36.8 million monthly average players remains in second place among the social games on Facebook, in front of another success of Zynga, Texas Holdem Poker (which is rather in gradual recovery), played by an average of 30.1 million people per month. All numbers, you see,that already suffer from the effect of the change in the score calculation established by Facebook Oct. 14 and has literally brought down the number of active users in an attempt to improve the significance of statistical (in practice are now counted only users that log of each application and not all those who have authorized the app to access their data).

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      Zynga

      Zynga save the childrenThere are a lot of news for Zynga: or even for the people of the South Usa hit in recent weeks by some tornados has been activated a subscription, in collaboration with Save the Children, similar to that already made ​​in favor of the Red Cross for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 11. Then as it announces a Zynga press release the “social game fever” have infected a famous pop star, Lady Gaga (whom in March donated $ 1.5 million just to fund raising for earthquake victims in Japan), who started playing Farmville inviting all fans to visit “Gagaville” where you can listen preview songs, taken from the new album “Born this way” (on sale from May 17) and win tickets to her concerts and autographed copies of the CD.

      By the way Lady Gaga (aka Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) has always focused on operations and aggressive marketing aimed at young audiences, so that simultaneously the aspect of “fun” has been activated, by the French community UserFarm, a competition for young creatives, Lady GagaFrench this way” that from 13 May to 5 June 2011is giving away up to a thousand euro for the user who has made ​​a video, inspired by American artist, which will be the most voted by users of the French community.

      Returning to Zynga, which seems to speed up the landing on WallStreet after the success of the social network for professionals LinkedIn (which May 9 starteded the placement of 7.84 million shares at a price of 32-35 dollars each and aims to raise 271 million dollars against 175 million assumed earlier this year, for an overall assessment between 3 and 3.6 billion dollars), pursue acquisitions of other companies. Once it acquired in December Newtoy (creator of the games series “Games With Friends” including some game designed for mobile as “Words With Friends” and “Chess With Friends”) in late April it was the turn of Wonderland Software, British creator of the game for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad “GodFinger”, proving that the future for the social game is increasingly mobile.

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        heartquake japan teddy bear solidarity

        The earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011 resulted in 10,102 confirmed dead in Japan and 17,053 missing, a total that could exceed the 25,000 victims according to authorities. While they have been kicked off the first mass burial, many Japanese still are not now able to know if their loved ones are alive or dead, in this case if their remains have been recovered and buried.

        heartquake japan teddy bear solidarityTragedies such this one occurred already in the recent past for the Abruzzo region, can not leave anyone indifferent and so is usually used for entertainment platforms such as Second Life (where Linden Lab has officially launched the sale of “teddy bearsfor charity) or social games like Cityville (through which Zynga, with the help of Facebook, has opened a subscription: http://www.zynga.org/about/blog.php#japan) these days have started campaigns to try to bring aids to affected populations, which in addition to the destruction by land and sea have been fighting a series of fires before, then the risk of a nuclear  disaster and the intense cold of winter.

        Literally countless charities then carried out by private individuals, ranging from evenings with Charity Auctions to sales that involve the payment of a portion of the proceeds to international bodies like the Red Cross (as reported, for example, this post).

        Obviously not everyone thinks this type of corrective action or otherwise sufficiently reliable: the IMVU‘s forums (platform whose users have already started a group for those interested in relief operations) are discussing (here) as to whether or not to indicate a selected number of institutions which donate funds to be used in aid or even the desirability of individual businesses or home users IMVU itself rather than to collect that money, instead of finding ways to send directly private aids to Japanese residents.

        IMVU charityLegitimate doubts that I personally believe should  be dispelled with the maximum transparency (how many times in the past we have seen charitable collections made ​​with great enthusiasm to remain free of the most basic elements about the payment of amounts to the institutions on whose behalf they were organized and how many times we have heard of aids that even come to these organizations were also “lost along the way” and never arrived to those in need), but not modifying a dramatic situation in which those who can should try tohelp out, either personally or through channels and institutions who can be trusted. Or we mayonly do philosophy as thousands of people could die due to the aftermath of a cataclysm that has already caused casualties among the highest in human history.

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          Cityville mondivirtuali

          Cityville my loveIt is surely one of the Zynga‘s social games most successful and in early 2011 has already exceeded 100 million active users per month, surpassing its more rural “brother“, Farmville. We are talking, of course, of Cityville, the latest online craziness that is rampant, particularly among users of Facebook social network, who often devote more than a few minutes every day to this game.

          But like every game even Cityville has its own tricks and while if you just want to understand the mechanism you can use the “help” function, Mondivirtuali.it asked a player, our friend Giordano Melchiorri (aka GiordanoO Amat in Second Life, whom you read before) some advices for beginners. Here they are, have a nice readings.

          The most lacking thing on Cityville is the energy you need to build, collect crops, collecting rents and so on. An advice I give to all those who are passionate about this funny game is to use the help that is given to friends, visiting them in a constructive and coordinated way.

          When you visit a friend, sending buses of tourists only brings an economic advantage that is often only skin deep. In my opinion, it would be fair to focus on activities that would cost a waste of energy to your friend such as to collect rents, build, cut trees, collect goods and so on.

          In this way you will leave him the choice of using its energy for the activities that will be appropriate. Even by restoring cultures faded or the goods of the ports, you will gain and at the same time help your friend who could not otherwise make, if not cancel the operation (of course using more energy).

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          advertising social game

          paidcontent.orgIf virtual worlds are, even according to a recent research by Earnst & Young, a low-growing niche in the landscape world wide web, the success of social networks and social game continues as it is likely that a future stock exchange listing is on Facebook (arrived now to a theoretical valuation of $ 50 billion) and Zynga, the maker of games such as FarmvilleCityville or Mafia Wars to name a few of the best known.
          Along with the growth of the players, according to eMarketer.com now over 53 million in the U.S. alone, representing 24% of U.S. Internet users, as mentioned Paidcontent.org, grow revenues, last year amounted to 856 million dollars and designed to meet the 1.3 billion dollars by 2012 (always in the U.S. alone, when 68.7 million people are using social game), most (60%) thanks to the sale of digital goods (clothing, weapons, land, farms and etc. with which to improve their ability to play and customize their avatars).

          Farmville ZyngaTogether with the exchange of digital goods (seen in 2012 to 792 million dollars in the field of social game in the U.S. market) increases the weight of advertising (which anywhere in the U.S. alone has now reached $ 25 billion) and 120 million spent last year (14.1% of the total turnover of the social game in the U.S.) is expected to increase to 271 million (20.5% of total) within a couple of years.

          These numbers have to be verified both with regard to the accuracy of the forecasts, as the risk that the “bubble” explode like Second Life and virtual worlds (which is now universally considered doomed to remain a niche phenomenon for many years) is high, both with regard to the evolution of the phenomenon in other countries such as Italy, where there is also a growing number of people who play every day at social games, perhaps through Facebook, but where there is perhaps less rapid revenue growth tied to this phenomenon, both in the sales of digital goods, both for advertising.

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            Raffaella Beaumont

            If today we talk and we know almost all of Second Life we have to take a look at what was yesterday to understand the past of virtual worlds. It all started more or less with Ultima Online (UO), a fantasy style MMORPG set in the online world of Sosaria. Ultima Online was (in my opinion) the best role-playing game (RPG), not only because it was the first but also because it has left an indelible mark in all those who really knew the matter. Now has been overtaken by other more complex games, but not more beautiful and fascinating, as W3 or NWN.

            Ultima OnlineUnlike Second Life, which revolves on a platform accessible simultaneously from all over the globe, OU (note that there are still shards operating with an average of 200 players, or pg, related timetable for the tip) was and is played mostly on a shard Unofficial and free, implemented locally by the fans themselves. You have to think that the spread of internet, even talking about broadband, was in no way comparable with those of today: in 1997-1998 there were no ADSL connections, and those who had a 56kb modem at home was considered lucky. Children cultivate their passion for virtual gathered steadily over the internet point to do the “quest” and pass a level “all togheter”. It seems a century ago but think it is a bit more than a decade. There were some who lingered even after the closing time of shops to wait for the start of battles at the bridge of Britain (memorable)! Technological change was fast and even at the level of multiplayer games has changed a lot.

            If I think about how it was structured a shard and the world of UO, I realize that it was really small in comparison to other current games or Second Life; often the shard was closed for updates, for increasing the maps, for scripting physical world or “furnishing” it. Yes, because like in Second Life, OU had standard users (players) and GM (Game Master), those who over assist players in case they ran into some traps of the world or of the scripters (how many times I called “GM save me, I was trapped in Bucca“), organized the quest and ensured that the rules of the game were fulfilled by users. But unlike Second Life, the GMs were and are visible to all and known by the inhabitants of Sosaria, a kind of divinity.

            The communication used was a simple chat to talk about with the classic method of direct messages or “whisper“, or the public chat (or that of your clan) using a standardized method of writing known by all players. Usually, apart from the classics whisper commands or pvt some commands were used exclusively in the shard that was played and it wasn’t strange to change shard and have different commands. In addition to the game “in world ” as in the metaverse of Linden Lab, the OU continued in the forum created specifically for the shard, the first true example and not really archaic of “cross-mediality“. Users played (and still play) and spoke in world through text chat, since it was never activated a voice channel that would make the game easier, especially during the fighting. You had to leave the game and report the problems of the game, mostly fights between people which didn’t let go easily on the public forum, especially after losing a booty in the wake of an ambush. There are still lots of game communities that over the space of the machine for the insertion of the shard offers web space for the forums and the site of the shard for free (of course if you pay the connection to the provider that supports the community itself granting a number an of concurrent users).

            Ultima OnlineFrom there you started with flames on the forum pages and pages of endless speeches and questions and answers almost in real time between the parties. The sense of “suspension of disbelief” sometimes was so intense that you didn’t realized that the hours of play were so many that you hadn’t eat nor drink or even sleep. In addition to the in world chat the use of ICQ made it easy contacts with members of your guild or friends to play both offline and online. It was not possible to teleport directly from one place to another in the world to meet a character as it happens in Second Life just by sending a request to teleport. Access points and teleports to different areas of the world were mostly paid and you could not move flying like in SL, so that in times of difficulty using the external channel made the game easier, especially for the newbies.

            Strategic intelligence of the player to always find the simplest means to facilitate their passion for the game led to the use of an external system to the game that could contain a number of “teamspeak” users. There was even those who spoke on the phone with huge and horrendous cuffs for not having to take the phone and have free hands to perform the maneuvers of the classic game. MSN did not have a voice system via web and phone calls, VoIP and the like were still a dream. Also to continue the contact points between Second Life and OU, users were (and are) used to organize themed events in various places in Italy, just as happens today with Facebook.

            It must be said that Second Life can not be defined as a game in itself, is a virtual world that has not only recreational and specific purposes like OU, W3 and NWN. Second Life is like a large container that also contains three-dimensional virtual MMORPGs and RPGs, so if I need my avatar to play I can go in a land to do an RPG, if I want to learn I can follow Spanish, English, scripting or building lessons, if I still want to dance in a disco I can do the same. Is the virtual representation of the real world: here, between many points of contact between, lies the big difference with MMORPGs and OU in the first place, in Second Life you can come in and do whatever you want without following pre-game schemes to enrich or to level your character. This is why Second Life can not be called a game, since to be such under the classic definition of LUDUS should contain rules predefined and shared by all participants. In Second Life the only rule is do what you want (of course after accepting the TOS of Linden Lab when you register yourself), according to your conscience, will and avatarian individuality.

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