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The Browser and Social Networking Gaming Revolution

by: Brian Lamacraft ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Video gaming is going through a change with the emergence of the browser game. These new games are being embraced by social networking sites such as Facebook. As more browser games are developed for these sites and the Internet in general, these games are set to change the way people play games.

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    What is a Browser Game?

    World of Lorecraft When you hear the term browser game it simply means a game that can be played entirely within your web browser application. The game loads quickly and often doesn’t even require any downloading at all. For the most part these games are entirely free with only premium content being charge for. You can spend as little or as much time as you want playing them so they appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers alike. While some are now in 3D the majority of browser games still use text and simple graphics but this is rapidly changing. Many mainstream gaming companies are now getting involved with browser games and releasing titles online. This influx of games from major companies is creating more games in 3D, enhanced stories, and expanded game play.

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    Browser Games and Social Networking

    Tiger Woods Golf As browser games become more popular social networking sites such as Facebook have taken notice of these new games and embraced them fully. Facebook has in fact become a major gaming platform with hundreds of titles available including rpgs, sims, casual games, action, sports, and other titles. While many of these games are still very simple in nature this is changing too with mainstream companies releasing titles on Facebook. Later this year Sid Meir creator of the popular Civilization game series will release Civilization Network on Facebook. EA Sports creators of popular sports games such as the NHL hockey series, and Madden football series has released a beta of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online which can be played through Facebook. While the golf game requires a small download it still plays entirely in your browser and is in 3D.

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    What Makes Social Networking Games So Popular?

    There are millions of people on social networking sites such as Facebook who want to play games with their friends online and these new games give them the opportunity. The ability to connect to games with people you know such as friends and family makes gaming on social networking sites a very attractive option for people. Another attractive part of browser games on Facebook is that for the most part they are entirely free except for premium content that can be bought to enhance a game for the user. Many traditional online games require monthly fees, long downloads, or the need to purchase the game at a retail outlet. When you play a traditional game online such you are often interacting with strangers but with social networking games you can interact with those close to you giving a more gratifying gaming experience. Many of these games also allow you to send gifts to the people in your social networking circle and we all like to receive gifts from friends and family even if it is just a game item. This is just another example of how social networking games can bring you closer together with those you care about.

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    Enter a Farming Giant

    Farmville Social networking games are not only just popular with Facebook users the numbers of people playing some of these games defies description. Zynga a social networking gaming leader has released such titles as Mafia Wars, Fishville, Petville and many others but none has become as popular as the farming game aptly called Farmville. The numbers of people playing this game and others like it on Facebook is one of the main reasons big time game developers like Electronic Arts are getting in on the action. According to AppData a site that monitors users of Facebook games Farmville has an estimated eighty million users monthly. Many games similar to this one have lower numbers but still take in millions of regular montly users. The number of game players on social networking sites is enticing more game developers to release titles on the platform and make use of this rapidly developing gaming market.

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    Growing List of Browser Game Titles

    Evony Besides the game sthat can be found on social networking sites there are many browser games that offer more of a traditional MMO style of gaming. Games such as Runescape, and Earth Eternal are full featured 3D MMOs that run in your browser with minimal downloads. You can play war games such as Evony, Napoleonic Wars, Lord of Ultima, or World of Lorecraft. There are other genres too such as simulations, puzzle games, shooters, sports, and virtual worlds. New games are being developed all the time and this is just a small sampling of the games available for your browser. Web sites such as BBGSite keep users informed about the newest browser games and what is going on in the industry. These games all stay entirely free except for the premium content which can be purchased to enhance the game being played.

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    The Future

    Browser gaming is still in the early stages of development with a few fully functioning 3D games available but the list is growing rapidly. There are literally hundreds of text and graphics based games that are both entertaining and fun. As more game companies see how social networking sites are grabbing up gamers in record numbers we should soon see an influx of bigger and better titles which is already starting to occur. Games such as Dragon Age Journeys and Quake Live are two examples of browser games made by more well known game developers that are cracking the browser market with titles. According to AppData the next wave of social networking games will be based around city building sim style games made famous by Maxis and their Sim City series. The future for gaming on your web browser and through social networking sites is indeed bright and who knows what new games will be around the corner.