Get More Social: Mobile Gaming Gets Players Talking

Mobile phones are getting a reputation for making their users anti-social but some argue that in fact, they are making us more social at times when we traditionally might have been alone. They are how we keep in touch with the wider world and manage a lot of our communications – whether that is through calls, email, text or social media.

Social media plays a large part in why a lot of people are glued to their mobiles. Facebook leads the market with a whopping 1,870 million active users. It allows us to see what is happening in the world and catch up with what our friends are doing. With the vast array of social and support groups on social media, we are turning to our phones more for advice and help. Far from being anti-social, it arguably is more social as we interact with more people every day.

The rise in the number of mobile games also contributes to the time spent mobiles but once again this can be social pursuit, whether you are competing against your friends in player league tables or playing together to slay the enemy. Let’s see exactly how some of the more interesting examples work.

Social Media is more than just chatting and sharing
In November of 2016, Facebook Messenger launched Instant Games, a HTML5 gaming platform for users with a range of games including puzzle games, like Space Invaders and 2020 Connect, action games, like Pac-Man and EverWing, trivia and word games, like Wordalot Express.

Messenger games enable you to challenge friends, share scores, make voice or video calls whilst playing. Challenge your friends by starting a Messenger conversation and select the game controller icon either as a two player as a group using group chat creating a leader board with live scores.

Facebook has an even larger and more developed range of game apps, though. Candy Crush Saga is the most popular game with 149 million active monthly users in October 2016 – while, according to the same source, the second most popular app belongs to the same franchise too, with Candy Crush Soda Saga at 38.78 million players. This candy-encrusted world sees friends competing to complete the most levels or games in the fastest time.

There are games to suit everyone. If you like creating a virtual world, choose a builder games like Farm Town and Jurassic Park. These require you to enlist the help of your friends to help grow your town/park and make it thrive. If you enjoy the strategy games, select a game like Forge of Empires and Star Wars: Commander, where you build a base, recruit and train armies and take them into battles. If you prefer classic board games there are lots to choose from, like chess, backgammon and dominos, which allow you to play live against friends or thousands of other players.

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Experience Online Bingo
Bingo has made the transition to the online world without losing its social aspect. Instant accessibility and online help make playing bingo online convenient, while some bingo sites like Sun Bingo have also added live chat functions, which allow players to make new friends, comment on their progress and be part of an active online community. With their own YouTube channel featuring Rustie Lee and online chat room hosts, there is a lot to browse and get involved in. Sun Bingo offers three different categories of bingo games, 90-ball, 75-ball and 80-ball, and if you are new to the game there’s a learner room to help get you started.

Games Abound on Dedicated Web Gaming platforms
If you are a more serious gamer but still like your casual fix, then there are platforms with communities of gamers like Kongregate and Steam. Offering thousands of titles in a whole host of genres from well-known games, like Space Hulk: Deathwing and Strike Force Heroes, through to games designed by other gamers. These platforms act as communities with chat rooms and forums enabling you to communicate with people from around the world, while they constitute popular outlets for indie game designers to showcase their offerings. Kongregate allows you to compete against friends and earn badges to assist you in levelling up, while there’s also companion pets, daily challenges and more. Steam includes friend lists and groups with in-game voice and chat functionality.

Future developments
Gaming online is expanding all the time with more games being developed, interactivity evolving and with the growth in augmented reality games like Pokémon Go and WallaMe mixing the real world with gaming. With online forums and chat rooms, these games can be a very social way spending a few hours perfecting your playing skills and having banter with friends or new acquaintances.

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