Saturday, September 6, 2008

Quick update: Spore, EA shared content, and more to follow...

As I download Spore from the EA Online Store I figure I'll do a quick update on what I've been up to. I'll drill in more over the next few days.

These last few weeks have mostly been about social gaming on the one hand and GTA IV on the other. I must admit that I've really been loving GTA IV and can't wait to spend several more hours on it (hopefully today). 

Most of my social gaming has been on Facebook. I've already talked about Scramble and Wordscraper in previous posts. 

I've also been playing 2 "inferior" (at least in my mind) games simply because other friends play them and I can't convince them to make the switch. One is Word Twist, which I consider inferior to Text Twirl for the main reason that it doesn't force players to swap turns. This means that a player can blow through the game before any other player takes a turn. This makes the end-game less exciting (at least to me). The other is Word Challenge, which is a leaderboard game where you anagram words against a clock. The scoring convention is interesting and allows for some interesting risk-reward game play, but I think it's boring because there is no head-to-head competition. Well, there is... But I haven't tried it out yet because I prefer other games (and because I'm so far ahead of my friends they don't want to play me).

As I mentioned above, I'm currently downloading Spore. I have no idea whether I'll like it. The Creature Creator was fun to play with for a bit, but the novelty wore off as I started to crave actual  game play. What I'm most interested in is how Spore enters the social computing cloud of consciousness. With direct links to YouTube (and I've got to believe Facebook and MySpace) this game has potential to rock the SNS world.

EA seems to be pushing this idea very hard (and I'll bet effectively) with other franchises as well. I was cruising a Titans fan board and someone had posted links to movies of his favorite Madden 09 plays. Yep. The game offers players the ability to save and render out highlight films and then post them to the EA sharing site. The sharing site itself was pretty lame (no great way to surface additional/related content; no community rating system; etc) and it's a shame they didn't just partner with YouTube on this like Spore did. But it's a great step in the right direction for what people crave: Shared social content. Way to go EA!

These are, indeed, exciting times in the space of socially shared gaming experiences and content creation.

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