Tag Archives: gaming

Press ‘X’ to Add a Friend: Gaming as the New Social Space

There is an event going on that you most likely don’t know about – and you probably wouldn’t care about it if you did.

On the popular social streaming site, Twitch.tv, 50,000 gamers are trying to complete a Gameboy video game from 1998. “Twitch Plays Pokémon” is either an insane experiment, or the next evolution in social media. Thanks to some clever programming, someone has modified a virtual version of Pokémon Red to accept the input commands of over 50,000 simultaneous users. This exercise in group gaming has proven that even the simplest tasks can be nearly impossible when mass coordination is required.

It’s also a unique case study showing one potential future for the social media industry. Can you imagine having 50,000 people spending a week staring at your brand? This is gamification on a massive scale. Each of these users is wholly engaged in their activity. Memes and fan communities numbering in the tens of thousands have sprung up overnight. Gamers who weren’t alive when Pokémon Red was released are following the progress as if it was the latest FOX reality show. Unfortunately for the three brands that stand to profit from this phenomenon – Game Freak, Nintendo, and Twitch – only one is actually seeing any gains. Twitch is seeing active user counts (and ad views) that haven’t been matched since the DotA 2 International Tournament last year.
In fact, if Nintendo knew the stream was happening, they’d likely actively fight to have it shut down.

Of course, it’s easy for game and tech companies to fall into these types of social success. We’ve already written about the ties between social media and console gaming (and those are getting even closer all the time). In the near future, however, it isn’t hard to imagine this kind of gamification extending beyond the Sonys (Sonies?) and Microsofts of the world.

Nearly every social media junkie online is writing about the coming social cataclysm, when the “Big Four” networks fall out of favor and the new icons of social are brought to power. Some believe content curation platforms like Twitch are the future; others turn to niche networks like Wiser and Kaboodle.

There’s only one thing we can agree on: Change is coming, and it’s time for big brands to stop relying on Facebook.

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Video Games and New Social Media 3: The Indie Crowd

Last week, we published a blog explaining the way some larger brands and developers are capitalizing on the connections between social media and the games industry. Of course, any brand with a large enough budget could accomplish much of the same thing. But what about smaller franchises? What about indie developers? How can a small business, with no spare budget, get their work in front of the eyes of millions of gamers?

Let me introduce you to Sips. Continue reading

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Video Games and New Social Media 2: Mastering Multiscreen Marketing

Last week, I took a look at the future relationship between gaming and social media – two tech industries that will forever be entwined. Today, I’m going to look at the present. We’re going to explore the possibilities of multi-screen marketing, and multi-screen entertainment, by looking at a collaborative project by some of the larger brands on the scene.

How do you capture the attention of an audience with a notoriously short attention-span? In the world of DVR, where we fast-forward through television ads while surfing the net on our phones, how can a marketing team make an impact? There is the short route – hope your commercial is funny enough to go viral online – and the long route.

With the new original series Defiance, SyFy and their sponsor, Dodge, chose the latter. Continue reading

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Video Games and the New Social Media

Fifteen years ago, video games helped me make my first friends in middle school. Having recently moved to the frigid north of Columbus, Ohio, I was able to bond with classmates thanks to the social activity required by Nintendo’s Pokémon series. We would sit across from each other at the lunch table, brick-like game systems connected to each other with a thick gray cord, sharing in an electronic social experience that would have been unthinkable even 10 years earlier. It was a technological marvel that was completely lost to us as children. This was simply the way we communicated – any alternative seemed impossible.

Last week, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), that same concept was reborn. Modern social media has come to video games. For better or worse, both industries will be forever changed by it. Continue reading