quarta-feira, 27 de novembro de 2013

Gaming experience and social network: how games can be funnier with RAPTR

In this post, let's figure out how to engage an audience in a deeper entertainment experience using a digital social network. I’m taking about RAPTR, a social networking website and instant messenger, targeted towards video game players launched September 3rd, 2008. The site allows users/players to import their Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam accounts. It also includes other features such as trophies and achievements tracking, and this is a point to highlight in our discussion.

With RAPTR, you can compare your in-game statistics, level of engagement and collection of trophies/achievements in a wide mode. This is possible because RAPTR allows users to explore/connect a world broader than the console network.

As an example for this post I’ll use the game “Batman: Arkham Origins”, that I started to play recently. When the playing experience starts, automatically the game appears in your RAPTR dashboard with your level of engagement and list of achievements. The most interesting feature of the system is the possibility to view your performance against other players of the same game. In the image below we can see these features and the ranking on the bottom side (I’m 5th in the ranking, but I'm working to get a better position.).

With social networks like RAPTR we can have a parallel contest involving a large number of players fighting for symbolic rewards and ranking. In other words, it sounds like a game inside the game and it’s important for publishers to stay alert with this kind of social tool. In this scenario, companies also need to understand how to survive in times of media fragmentation defined by Lord and Velez (2013: 223) as the “increasing availability and consumption of different types of media across channels”.

Among the players, to be well-ranked in a gamer ecosystem is a very important reward and an essential component of social capital construction. As Santaella (2013: 43) says, by creating a profile on the social networks, people start to respond and act as if this profile were an extension of the self. Like an extra presence of what constitutes their identity. These profiles become flags that represent the people who hold them.

In this context we define social network sites in the words of Boyd and Ellison (2007) as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

The new generation of consoles promises interactions involving increasingly sophisticated games and social networking. Definitely, this is a matter for further discussion and deserves more attention.

Now on to your opinion.

Note: Unlike “Batman: Arkham Asylum” (Rocksteady Studios, 2009) and “Batman: Arkham City” (Rocksteady Studios, 2011), this game will not be developed by Rocksteady Studios. Warner Bros. Games Montréal, co-developer of “Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition”, created Arkham Origins, with additional development by Splash Damage for the game's multiplayer feature. Check the trailer below:

Go gamers!


BOYD, D. M., & ELLLINSON, N. B. Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11, 2007. URL: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html (last access: August, 2013)

LORD, B.; VELEZ, R. Converge: transforming business at the intersection between marketing and technology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2013.

SANTAELLA, L. Intersubjetividade nas redes digitais: repercussões na educação. IN: PRIMO, A. (org). Interações em rede. Porto Alegre: Sulina, p. 2013.

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