I have begun hearing this term “social gaming” in the past few month’s as an evolution of the term casual gaming. I really this term "social gaming" as a new category for the industry. I think the new term has come about because casual gaming had been seen as a category for an individual player. Whereas social gaming still implies it’s casual not immersive but also implies that it is done with a group. This is very fitting, as we have watched the growth of the Nintendo Wii as a new gaming experience. I have “anointed” the Wii the board game of a new generation. Families are now having fun playing together on the Wii the same way they used to play board games before TV monopolized evening eyeballs.
I have heard rumors that retail is even considering developing a whole kiosk dedicated to the social gaming category. This is also great news for developers as we are now able to expand the gaming category in general. Now creative software developers can dream up new experiences in this new category.
One modern example I am excited about is Scene It for the XBOX 360. Stemming from the popular DVD board game it has now been taken to a new level by offering it on the XBOX 360. It has made me think how I can bring my game consoles to family events so we can have a large range of social games to play.
I am quite excited to see this category grow as I have seen the benefits first hand in my own life and how much fun gaming as a family has become. I believe this new category will add value to the gaming industry and help to expand the gaming experience and the category at large.