SimCity is back ... with social integration. The Sims Social was a huge hit so I'm excited to see how this turns out.
Ever since it first emerged, social gaming has been synonymous with the king of them all: Farmville, which is a word for a category of "really crappy games that trick people into forking over cash". They are games blatantly engineered for profit, not fun. And amid the whirlwind of "social media" and "gamification" and all these other neologisms we've forgotten one basic fact...
Social Games are just multiplayer games.
And by that measure, they are nothing new. They've been around ever since the original Mario Bros. Arcade Game.Zynga had better be worried because their short-sighted business model of building disposable games is going to face serious resistance once quality game-makers turn their guns in this direction. Zynga's existence has thus far been an accident of arbitrage: when a new medium opens up, someone rushes in, sucks hapless users dry, burns out.
What would you rather play: SimCity or CityVille? The Sims Social or YoVille? Just place those side by side.