My Guild Isn’t Your Guild

Continuing on with my look into Facebook games, and in my look into why I dislike them…

When I played EverQuest, I met a person, we played together a little, and then I joined his guild.  Joining a guild attached me to a social unit and my one new friend turned into thirty new friends.  Now, I didn’t get along with all of them, but being bonded by the unit meant that we were at least civil, because he often wound up grouped together and working together toward goals.

In Facebook games, I invite a friend of mine into my super team, or as my neighbor, or whatever social unit the game has, and that’s the end of it.  I have 12 people in my zombie apocalypse survivor colony.  One of those 12 only have 3 people in his colony.  One of them has 50.  And so on.  Each of us has a unique view of the game world.  Our social unit is fictional, not real.

Facebook games are designed to make you grow your social units outside the game.  You are encouraged to post achievements on your wall, to share them with the world, and the idea is that a friend of yours will see it and decide to play the game also, hopefully joining your game social unit too, and that also a friend of your friend who saw your comment on that picture of your friend’s dog will click your name, see your wall, see your post from the game, and decide to be your friend and join you in game also.

This is completely backwards from the normal Online game socialization model.  Normally, you make friends in game and that friendship can grow outward.  On Faceback, you make friends outside of the game and hope to grow that friendship inward to the game.  That just seems wrong to me.

3 comments

  1. Cuppycake says:

    Yep, this is because social isn’t literal in “social games”. I wrote about this a few weeks ago. You build social groups for personal gain and to unlock game mechanics – not to actually socialize or form relationships with these people. Facebook games are the very definition of massively single player. This will most likely evolve over time, but right now – you’re exactly right that this is the state of ‘social’ games right now.

    • Jason says:

      I hope they do change. Mostly it bothers me because of the disconnect. When I add someone to my “colony” I expect them, through traditional usage of the word, to join my entire group. Instead, they just join me.

  2. […] annoyance with and dislike of certain aspects of Facebook gaming (as previously seen in these three posts), a recent case study shows that 24% of social gamers have insecure friending […]

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