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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 5:09PM Lucidus said

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I use the term to describe a game that has very little depth, is extremely repetitive and instead of providing a satisfying game experience on it's own uses peer pressure to "force" people to play.

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 5:14PM Dukeun said

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Facebook games are games you play on facebook; games on Google+ are games on Google+.

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 6:46PM Graill440 said

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@Dukeun

By far the most common sense response i have seen in this thread.

People however will try to be that person thinking they know the neatest, cutest reference whether it is valid or not and force everyone to use that new phrase. Religion has 3/4 of this planet fooled, doesnt mean its valid or correct.

"Its like a facebook game, thats a facebook game" both utterly meaningless unless you use facebook and know its mechanics, and last itme i checked, smart people do not use facebook. (ya, cmon)

To a gamer like myself the phrase means nothing. To facebook users i am sure they are clapping their little hands happily.
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Posted: Oct 5th 2011 7:02PM Irem said

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@Graill440
Is it possible for you to make a comment without being snide, condescending, or abrasive for no good reason? I don't like Facebook and I don't use it, but I don't pretend that makes me somehow intellectually superior.
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Posted: Oct 6th 2011 4:00AM HackJack said

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@Irem It's common for stupid people to think they're smart.

Anyways "Facebook game" and "WoW clone" are categories that encompass a great number of small, precise attributes.

They are very much usable and beating around the bush or creating gratuitous discussions around it that will only lead to "sugar-coating" of the generalization itself, which is useless.

I'm sorry but if a dev decides to make a game that FEELS like WoW (i.e. Rift) I WILL call it WoW-like (not clone, I personally I don't like that word). Why? Because he deserves it.

Same as FB games: if they are centered around normally being a grind and LESS of a grind if you pay for it or send requests to your friends (which is the main reason you put a game on FB) then I'll call it a FB game because that is what it is.

I don't excuse myself for quickly dismissing GARBAGE like this. On the other hand there are lots of people who can't appreciate good games. I try my best to analyze every one of them in-depth but it's not my fault they're built to make money (practice that, more often than not, brings LESS money).
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Posted: Oct 6th 2011 1:49PM Degu said

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@Graill440

Damn, I've been fooled, so I'm automatically an idiot in Dr. Graill the Evil Smiley Face's world. But I don't use Facebook. So I guess I'm half a smart person. Not sure how I got through grad school.

Yeah, I can't resist the off-topic trolls, wish I could...makes me miss JohnLane.
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Posted: Oct 5th 2011 5:17PM Raikulxox said

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Was looking forward to the piece. IMO, the terms "WoW clone" and "facebook game" are really getting to be just as overused as now long dead memes. That, and it doesn't do the game justice in describing what exactly it is. When people refer to games like Glitch as a facebook game it really makes me want to blurt out tons of facts on why that's a bad comparison, even if it makes me look fanboyish.

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 5:21PM nimzy said

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(On an unrelated note:
http://www.next-gen.biz/features/richard-bartle-%E2%80%9Csocial-games-aren%E2%80%99t-social%E2%80%9D

As the guy who co-invented the MUD, Richard Bartle has said, "What we like to call ‘social games’ are basically solo games with a veneer of interpersonal contact.”)

So the linguist in me woke up now that we're talking semantics. The term 'Facebook game' as a simple dismissal of a game's content, style or strategy, to me, says that a game has failed to reach the mind of the person talking to you. That's why 'Facebook' comes before 'game.' The person describing the game to you isn't actually telling you anything about it other than it fails to distinguish itself in any way from the background in much the same way an uninformed parent might call any video game at all a "Nintendo game." A Facebook game, essentially, is then just a gimmick that leverages the list of friends you have on the aforementioned social networking service.

Now imagine someone telling you about this cool "game on Facebook" and the whole situation changes.

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 6:04PM Beau Hindman said

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@nimzy Great points, thanks!

Beau
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Posted: Oct 5th 2011 5:44PM darthinfamous said

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Maybe it's just me but when I hear the term Facebook game, it refers to the platform rather than a genre. Facebook game is just as viable term as Xbox game, PlayStation game, or PC game. If Facebook game is used to describe how the game plays, then yes, I agree. It should use something along the lines of stategy game or management game.

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 5:55PM hobnob said

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As an example Illyriad is a game on Facebook, its also a game in the Chrome Web Store, its also a game on a website independent of any social network, its also a game on your phone - Its a game you don't have to use Facebook for but can sign up using your Facebook login, or your Google login or your... so you don't have to remember extra usernames and passwords.

No matter which way you use it, sign up for it etc its the same massively multiplayer game; providing the same view on a unified world where every player interacts directly with each other - not a single player (collect friends for extra unlocks); or a lobby (choose up to eight people to play with you) - and it doesn't spam your friends or your wall. And its deep...

Yet I have heard of it referred to as a facebook game as you can play it through Facebook or signup with your Facebook login. "Facebook game" is a non-descriptor term: are Illyriad, CivWorld, Scrabble, Bejeweled, Mafia Wars, "Buy Your Friends" etc all the same thing? They are all radically different games, of radically different quality and radically different gameplay and interaction.

Scrabble is a good example - it would be like referring to Scrabble as and only as a Computer Game. Not only is that only one facet of where and how you can play Scrabble - it tells you nothing at all about what kind of game Scrabble is...

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 6:17PM Resurge said

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meh ..... tl;dr

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 6:57PM Saker said

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I despise all things "facebook". Google is another matter, as long as they don't go evil (which remains to be seen).

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 7:15PM drunkingamebar said

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@Saker lol, did you really just say that?
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Posted: Oct 5th 2011 7:13PM Leandra said

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This is another post that I couldn't finish reading because it distracted me with baby animals. *goes back to melting over baby macaque*

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 7:15PM drunkingamebar said

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I calls it like I see's it.



Posted: Oct 5th 2011 7:58PM Ordegar said

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Any label can be confusing if both conversants don't have the same reference.

Try going to England or South Africa and ask a waiter at a restaurant for a napkin, for example. If you're a man, they'll look at you as if you're odd; if you're a woman they'll send you to the vending machine in the ladies' room.

You might pick nits about the term "Facebook game", when another is satisfied with the term for a myriad of games.

Just look at the term MMO. The term was first used to differentiate massively-multiplayer games from more limited multi-player games such as Diablo 2, Dungeon Siege, and Neverwinter Nights. Now days, if Diablo 2 were made with a graphical lobby that looked like a town, and people formed groups before entering a map, people would call that an mmo.

Another term we use is "browser based". What exactly does that mean? Battlestar Galactica Online is considered a "browser based" game because it launches from your browser and runs in the browser window; but it runs in a 3d game engine that is installed on your computer and can be run full-screen. Dragon Nest also launches from your browser and runs in a 3d game engine that is installed on your computer, but it's not called a browser-based game because it opens its own window. Not really much of a difference to warrant the addition of the "browser based" label in my opinion, and I think it's misleading because many people will think it means it's a Flash game, but yet Massively writers and others use the term all the time.

So I guess the lesson to be learned is to be more concise in our descriptions because simplifying our speech with easy labels leads to confusion and contention.

Posted: Oct 5th 2011 8:23PM Beau Hindman said

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@Ordegar Nice way of putting it. What you said pretty much sums up why I have written several articles about terminology and definitions. The discussions that happen after are usually pretty good and help keep the definition up to date.

MMORPG is one of my favorite, which is why I have defined it in this column a few times. As someone who covers MMOs, I simply have to be able to explain it to people. Also, I have received so many game announcements that claim to be MMOs and are not. I don't appreciate it. This is why I don't appreciate any game that uses Facebook in any way a "Facebook game." As the comments above explained, that just shows how little the person knows about what the term means.

Thanks guys!

Beau
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Posted: Oct 5th 2011 11:18PM LaughingTarget said

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When I hear "Facebook game", what comes to mind are those "games" where you hit a button and the the game plays itself for a while, giving you a timer as when to come back, or spend real money to shorten that timer. Farmville, anything dumped out by Glu Mobile, etc. It's gaming on autopilot, periodically coming back and readjusting course. At least in games like EVE you have options to do things that require more input, but a Facebook game is one that took the crafting and leveling mechanic and made that the entire game.

After a few screen taps and staring down a 8 hour countdown timer until the game did anything (with the helpful offer to speed it up for a nominal fee), I began wondering why I shouldn't just skip the tedium of loading the game. I can just as easily wait around for nothing to happen without the game.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 1:09AM DataShade said

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As long as people keep making games that are only available on Facebook, the term "Facebook game" has to stay - so I know in the first 10 seconds of reading about a game that I can stop reading.

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