The Gaming Network

With all the excitement, and fear, regarding the announcement of the new generation of consoles. I’m left wondering where gaming is going and what I would like to be able to do in future. More specifically how I can interact with my online friends. Now there’s nothing wrong with sending a few messages back and forth, and voice chat is great, but we don’t really have any alternatives directly on the console.

My vision is that gaming is on course to become its own social network. It’s not too far off when you think about it.

My vision is that gaming is on course to become its own social network. It’s not too far off when you think about it. We have our friends, but what we can do is fairly limited, other than play games with them.

Try to imagine each player with their own profile where all their recent activity is displayed. Players can post asking for help from friends and tag a certain game. We can find new friends by seeing who has recently tagged a game. We can post screenshots directly from the game and publish straight to our profile (I do know this feature sounds like it will already be available).

Imagine seeing your friend get past a boss he was really struggling with, earning him an achievement. You can promote his achievement to all of your friends, and discuss how he managed it directly under the post on his profile. In addition to this I want my friends gathered in my own custom groups. I can have friends belonging to my shooters, racers, and fighters groups, allowing me to send group messages to the relevant people.

Now I understand that as gamers we use other social networks to find people with the same sort of interest, but the idea of having this network customised for us gamers is very appealing. We would need easy access to this network from anywhere, specifically in the form of online and mobile apps. Accessibility is key!

There’s one other thing that I would like to change: Gamertags. I would be quite happy playing online with my real name, or at least abbreviated. It’s much more personal and I’ve got nothing to hide in regards to gaming (yeah I played Viva Piñata). I’m also sure people will be much more respectful if they don’t have a mask to hide behind.

PS4 Interface
The future of gaming? You read my mind, Sony!

From the sounds of things that’s the way it may be going with the recent reveal of the new PS4 interface and I imagine the Xbox One will follow suit. One thing that must be done correctly if we do go down this path is the need for privacy, especially when it comes to children. With all these forthcoming changes we need to have a robust set of privacy options. This is essential if any kind of gaming social network is to take off.

To have the entire gamer-base involved in such a community would be immense. I’m hopeful that we get more and more ways to interact with our gaming friends, and I look forward to seeing what the next generation brings.






4 responses to “The Gaming Network”

  1. Giles Armstrong avatar
    Giles Armstrong

    Some top ideas, very well put.

    I’d imagine many of these ideas are in the works to some extent, but yeah, something along these lines would make me far more inclined to play games online – I pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription purely so I can get the Gold-only special offers and watch LoveFilm on the big TV.

    Some sort of default to hear ‘friends only’ would be good too, like how you can select who sees your Facebook posts.

    Great blog James.

  2. James Plant avatar
    James Plant

    Thanks very much for reading. Absolutely, it would be good to get a bit more from our subscription payments wouldn’t it. I think you do need to be able to customise your experience, I’m sure some people would like some of these features, while others wouldn’t wan’t anything like this.

    Thanks again buddy!

  3. John Brown avatar
    John Brown

    The only problem with adding more social elements to tings is that for those of us who post / tweet purely as a necessity – for example to plug an excellent article on game capture devices – it’s just something else that we HAVE to monitor. I know, ‘Woe is me’, but I’d far rather see the integration and extension of an existing service than the creation of a new one.
    The flip side of that is that there are still muppets out there who see what we do as some sort of undesirable sub-culture and will make a judgement upon us just on that especially in the work environment… “I see that you take pleasure in counting “head shots”, so we find that you aren’t suitable for a promotion to head of customer services”. It happens.

  4. James Plant avatar
    James Plant

    That’s a couple of very good points. Another social network to monitor would cause a bit more work. I think I just like the idea of not needing separate accounts to get the most out of the service.

    Right now if I have a game that supports sharing video for instance. I need a PS/Xbox account, a you tube account and if I want to share that with anyone I would need a twitter of Facebook account. If I can keep most of my gaming bits in one place it just means I can be a bit more organised.

    I do understand that it would be good to integrate better with current services, there are a few different ways it could progress.

    And some people will always make judgements on these things unfortunately.

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