The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I love video games. You probably do to. I'll play video
games on anything I can get my hands on. I might have preferences in regards to
systems or games I play, but in the absence of my preferred setup, I'll play whatever
is available. Besides actual game playing systems, I've played games on
everything from a Texas Instrument calculator to the computer in the doctor's
office. Hey, what can I say...he was taking a long time and I love me some Free
Cell. I don't judge people by the game they play or the system they play it on.
I only tell you all of this so when I talk about the fact I play games we often
label as "social games" you understand where I'm coming from - they're not my
preferred game, but I do play them.
Even though I play a few of these social games, I'm a little
alarmed by a trend that seems to be brewing with them - they are invading our
privacy and diminishing our online gaming personalities.
Now, I can only speak for myself and these are my issues.
You might be okay with it, or simply tolerate it or heck...even prefer it...but I
don't. I am not really a fan of it.
I like being a gamer and I like having an online gaming
personality. I like being "Saint" and have been for more than a decade now.
It's not that I need the anonymity associated with being a gamer, but sometimes
there are advantages to keeping your real life and your gamer life separate.
For example, would you be okay if the Playstation Network or Xbox Live revealed
your real identity to everybody you played with online, regardless of whether
they're on your friends list or not? I know I wouldn't. Have you ever had
someone say, "Hey I noticed you were up late playing Farmville last night and
was wondering blah blah blah..." Are you kidding me, you really knew I was up
late playing Farmville? That's only a little creepy.
Social games take a unique approach. They want to link to
your Facebook and your Twitter account so you can annoy all your friends with
those constant updates about your progress. These updates are often posted to
your timeline and your scores are compared with the people on your friend list. That's part of the socializing. The games encourage you to do this and even have incentives to persuade you to
do this. Yes, I agree it can be kind of a neat feature, and part of me likes
it...but if this trend continues not only will we witness a merger between our
real and gamer personalities, we're going lose some of our privacy in the
Nearly every new social game I've played recently requires
some sort of a log-in or account to access the game, regardless of whether you
just want to play alone or not. And yes, most of these also include the option
to link your social media accounts with it. Some make it even easier, just log
in the game using your pre-existing profiles. Of course some games will let you
play them without going through all of this hassle, but you don't reap all the
benefits of those who do.
One solution seems easy - create an alias Facebook, Twitter
or whatever account. Too easy, right? Wrong. The problem with this approach is
it kind of defeats the purpose. Yes, you can log in and play, but if you want
to do the socializing part, you either have to use your real account or add all of your
family and friends to your fake account. Yeah, right...who wants to do that?
Now, if you don't play social games, you have nothing to
worry about, right?
The integration between video games and social media
continues to evolve and expand. We have games that have companion apps for your
smart phone and/or tablet...and we have games that interface directly with the
major social media apps.
I'm all for innovation and creativity, but when it comes at
the cost of privacy or at the expense of losing my online gamer presence I'm
not so sure it's worth it. If the revised online services with the next
generation of consoles does away with gamertags and has you sign in and link
your account with Facebook, that might just be the end of it. Of course I don't
really think that'll happen, but it is something I wonder about after seeing so
many social media apps and games lean in that direction.
In other news...
I know this blog is a bit shorter than my normal...and it
seems a little random, but tomorrow is kind of a big day and I'm a little
anxious and excited, so it's hard to focus, heh heh. I can't say much yet,
because honestly I haven't quite figured out how to, but I will soon.