An intriguing reason why Facebook games aren’t very interactive

Just started my Quora account today and it’s pretty addictive. Think Yahoo Answers combined with Twitter, you can follow questions, people and trend various stuff. Also it’s got a community that know what they’re talking about… for now.

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Anyway, I was looking up the question ‘Why do social games shy away from mini games or games with actual gaming value? ‘ which is something I often wonder. The most voted answer was ‘money!’, these games are cheaper to make and easy to monetize. But I thought the following answer was very interesting and I’d known it without realizing;

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“One of the big reasons is because this is distracted play.  People play these games while chatting online or at work or doing other activities.  Anything that requires constant attention for more than 30 seconds will just not work because the player cannot divert the attention necessary to it. As the space evolves you will start to see more gameplay emerge, but for now assume that anyone playing these games is playing 4 of them at once while chatting with 3 people.  Try it, it is not easy.”

Seth Sivak – Game Engineer for Music Pets

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Currently I play a ton of Facebook games for my job and while I enjoy Wild Ones and Epic Goal the most, they’re games I play the least. Why? Because I’m at work and can’t concentrate on a single game for any amount of time. Games which require 1 click per 5 minutes are going to be on my radar much longer than games that require my undivided attention in order to progress. I’ve got too much to do to focus on one, comparatively sub-par, game. I’m guessing most Facebook social gamers are like this, and this is why games with poor gameplay are still so popular in comparison.

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Sam

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