Social Media Gaming and Why We’re Addicted

CandyCrush

There’s a 50% chance that if you’re a social media user, you play social media games. Whether it’s role playing (ie: FarmVille), casino or arcade (ie: Candy Crush Saga), or hidden objects (ie: Gardens of Time), approximately half of the internet’s population – 510 million people – play social games. And I’m one of them!

Why do we love social media games?

  1. Our Competitive Nature
    Just like in a soccer match or a card game around the kitchen table… it’s human nature to want to win. So, when everyone in your office is talking about finally beating level 65 on Candy Crush Saga, you may feel inclined to outdo them.
  2. Stress Relief / Relaxation
    The non-gamers of the world wide web see no point in virtual farming, but social gamers tend to find these games relaxing. It may not be a real farm or castle… but drifting off to a fantasy land on your lunch hour can be the mental break you need.
  3. Mental Stimulation
    Although it’s an escape from reality, there is still strategy involved and thought required. The need to complete missions and to level up force you to strategize and think about how you’ll reach goals in the game.
  4. It’s An Addiction
    Some games have become an addiction for users. Candy Crush Saga is the greatest example of this. In 2013, 1 in every 23 Facebook users played Candy Crush. Having to wait for “lives”, always having a “next level”, and the fact that it’s a free game (with optional in-game purchases) all attribute to the obsession. If you’re addicted to this one in particular, read Time’s “Candy Crush: The Science Behind Our Addiction” for more insight.
  5. Fun!
    Plain and simple – games are fun. No matter what age you are or what interests you, chances are there’s a social game out there that you would deem “fun”. Want to find one you’d like? Check out the Best Facebook Games, according to Digital Trends.

Since 2010, the number of social gamers has increased by over 70%, so no need to be embarrassed – you’re not alone! Game developers and advertisers are thrilled with this spike in users. The US social gaming market will be a $5 billion industry by 2015.

Social Gaming Industry â�� Statistics & TrendsAs I admitted in the beginning, I’m a social gamer – an avid one at that. No, I don’t spam my friends with game requests (I’m good at managing my Facebook settings). Role playing games are my forte and I confess – I’ve spent entire weekends building virtual villages. My favourites right now are Village Life, CastleVille and most recently, Here Be Monsters. OK – enough about me…

CONFESSION TIME: Are you a social media gamer? If yes, what game(s) do you play and how often? If no, does it drive you CRAZY when friends send you game requests?

Sources:

8 thoughts on “Social Media Gaming and Why We’re Addicted

  1. I was a social gamer playing Angry Birds with my boyfriend. We found it fun to compete against eachother on the weekly competition. Since taking school I have dropped out of gaming preferring to read and just do nothing at times. I also found it fun to play Candy Crush however stopped when I had to start paying to play.

  2. I used to e an avid social gamer, but scaled back my playing when I realized what a timesink they were!
    I still enjoy social gaming, and play a little bit of Bubble Blaster on my phone when I’m waiting for the bus, but don’t make a huge habit of playing in my spare time, choosing other methods of relaxation.

    • I think my method of not wasting time but still playing my games, is to incorporate it in to my schedule. If I need to “upgrade a building” and it’s going to take 2 hours to complete, I start the building, then find something to do for 2 hours (ie: run errands, do laundry, etc.). There have been a number of times where I’ve felt guilty about my gaming – I could be using that time for better things. But, I have a full-time job, am a part-time student, volunteer year-round in the community… it might be pathetic to actually schedule in game time, but I justify it with all of that and the guilt seems to go away!

  3. I have avoided the social media games altogether and have even had to defriend people because of their constant spam emails to “help me buy a cow” in Farmville or with Candy Crush.
    My friend recently found out to the tune of $300 that you have the ability to purchase for a small period of time through iTunes gems when you reset the password. Her son made this discovery and well he is banned from the iPhone for the unforeseeable future.

    • Yikes! I have a few friends who have spent hundreds of dollars on in-game purchases but I refuse to do it. Maybe I’m just cheap but I’d rather not rack up my credit card with those kinds of purchases. I also have a friend who had discovered some way around free lives in Candy Crush… I believe she would go in to her account and constantly change her birthday and somehow that gave her lives (or something?!). The point of any game – social or not – is to try winning and doing it honestly – not worth being banned from your favourite game or product!

  4. I am not a gamer but I have tried a few – angry birds, on line scrabble, solitaire and bejeweled – but that is the extent of it. I will, however, share a gaming story of mine. I was at work and a woman came in for an interview. While she was waiting, she pulled out her phone and looked pretty intense at whatever she was focused on. The manager came out of her office and was standing in front of the candidate who finally looked up and said “oh, sorry! I was just playing candy crush!”. I won’t tell you how that one ended, I’ll let you guess! -_-

  5. I’ve never been a gamer…but I do have to say that I have “unfriended” certain acquaintances who routinely invited me to play Farmville and other popular games on Facebook. Might sound harsh, but after repeated ignored invitations, it was time to clean house. The upside is now I’m a little more selective about those I ‘friend’.

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