Social Gaming

I’ve been thinking of a project on making gaming a social event again. Traditional gaming was always a social event (board games, card games, etc.) which encouraged social interaction and conversation with the other players. However console gaming has made gaming less of a social event. People play for hours in isolation, or against faceless opponents over the internet. When they do play together its often restricted to 2 players and when they do communicate its without eye contact and usually not much more than a few curses referring to what has just happened in the game (in jest or otherwise).

I believe that the recent resurgence in poker has opened the doors to a reintroduction of a social gaming unit, however even poker has been adapted to become a game of isolation by playing on the internet.

I know that recently (in the UK at least) the poker boom means that many teens and young twenties have taken to playing home poker games. Who would have guessed 5 years ago that young males would spend time sitting round playing cards in a world of modern technology? Is the time right to introduce a technological product that encourages positive social interaction?

I’d be interested to here anyone thoughts or any useful research leads.


Super interesting Ed.

As a mid twenties male I agree with all stated above however I believe its also important to take into account social behavior in other cultures other than just the UK. As a Brit living in France for example the difference is MASSIVE in comparison to the UK.

Pokers pretty big out here too, however theres a massive ‘cafe’ culture out here, groups of twenty somethings sipping coffee and chatting for HOURS, portability should be key. Theres a group of us out here mostly ex pats, few times mid week we get together have a bite to eat and then have a game of cards whilst sampling local beers, then friday or saturday nights normally a lock in at the local bar and normally a big poker night ensues. A niche would be for a portable unit, simple and self explanatory in use, poker for example - digital chips, heads up on rules…A major point is it should be super visual… after all this is will be a unit taking centre stage during the nights get together.

Good luck with the project man

Thanks Tom.

I think one of the problems that any product will come against will be the negative sigma of gambling in society. If the product does have a poker base, it may exclude a possible younger market segment, whose parents probably would not want encouraged into gambling.

However there may be a possibilty to use a different central theme to allow for a social game. Even if a younger market was excluded due to the product having a gambling theme the possible market share from those currently interested in poker could be huge.

I’d be keen to here anyone’s poker stories from a designers point of view. Also I’m going to create a number of profiles of poker players of different types to better understand the possible market niches so I’d love to hear from anyone who plays poker, the reasons they do and the locations they play.