Social gaming isn't a new idea, it's been around since poker and Monopoly. It refers to any game played with others -- as opposed to playing alone. It could be played on anything from an old wooden table to 70" LED HDTV. But today, social gaming most commonly refers to video games played online like XBOX Live (first made available to the public in November of 2002) and games played through social networks like FarmVille (launched on Facebook in 2009).
Recently, social gaming has grown exponentially and simultaneously along with the growth of smartphone use. In particular iPhone and Droid adoption -- and the availability of social games in their app stores -- have lead to an all-new way to play games with friends.
These social games with friends are dominated (quite literally) by the company, Zynga, who recently went public after creating a handful of extremely popular games "With Friends". Words With Friends alone has over 1,000,000 daily actives users (DAU).
These Zynga With Friends games are so popular that out of my 2,050 "friends"on Facebook today;
- 17 are playing Chess With Friends (1%)
- 20 are playing Gems With Friends (1%)
- 30 are playing Matching With Friends (1%)
- 209 are playing Hanging With Friends (10%)
- 209 are playing Scramble With Friends (10%)
- 550 are playing Words With Friends (27%)
Can you name one other video game that 1 out of 4 of your friends has played?