In order to determine the viability of a gaming social network, we’ll discuss some existing social networks which are targeted at this audience. In this post we’ll focus on identifying what social networks exist for gamers and their features. In a later post, we’ll do case studies of a small selection of those to better understand how they are used.
To draw up a list of social networks, we harvested from web pages that listed social networks for gamers. Typically, these listed 3 or 4, but some listed up to 30. These pages are listed at the bottom of the post.
Following this, we visited each and categorised the features, target audience and features of each.
We tagged the features of each social network based on the following:
- Structural features: How is the social network used? Does it use blogs? Can users have friends?
- Media features: In what ways does the social network encourage discussion on experiences? For example, does it allow commenting, or posting of videos?
- Incentive features: What are extrinsic motivators that attract the audience? Features may include a desktop app, or game news provided to users.
The list below is the result of this categorisation:
|CharacterPlanet (defunct)||gamers||game news, game hosting, blogs, groups|
|Duxter||gamers||gamified, built-in games, store, videos, pictures, text, stats, profile, newsfeed, friends, forums, groups|
|EvolveHQ||gamers||app, text, newsfeed, friends, groups, profile|
|general||store, app, built-in games, videos, pictures, text, profile, private messaging, friends, groups|
|Faces of wow||specific game: wow||text, pictures, friends, groups|
|GAMERSN||gamers||gamified, polls, videos, text, blogs, forums, groups, profile, friends, private messaging|
|GAX Online (defunct)||gamers||game news, videos, pictures, text, stats|
|Gaia Online (Anime and games. Popular in USA, Canada and Europe. Moderately popular around Asia.)||general; Open to gamers 13 and older||virtual world, friends, profile|
|Gamer Driven||gamers||game news, store, text, pictures, groups, friends, forums|
|GamerVision (defunct)||gamers||game news, videos, pictures, text, blogs, groups, forums|
|Gamerbio (defunct)||specific platform: pc, console|
|Games Social Network||specific platform: web||built-in games, be paid to play|
|GamesGrabr||gamers||app, text, profile, groups, friends|
|Glinkster (defunct)||gamers||social bookmarking|
|HelloClan||gamers||text, pictures, newsfeed, friends, groups, profile, private messaging|
|Koinup||specific games: sims, wow, etc||in-game content, pictures, text, virtual world, groups, profile|
|Muzui (defunct)||specific platform: mobile|
|Nintendo Mii Plaza||specific plaform: wii||text, pictures, videos, friends, private messaging, virtual world|
|Onverse||general||virtual world, profile, friends|
|PSN||specific platform: playstation||store, game hosting, gamified, game news, text, friends, groups, profile, private messaging|
|Playfire||gamers over 13||game news, videos, pictures, text, stats, profile, friends|
|Playyoo (defunct)||specific platform: mobile|
|ProfilesLive.com (formally Second Life profiles)||specific game: second life||pictures, profile, private messaging, friends, blogs|
|Pwned||gamers||gamified, game news, built-in games, pictures, videos, polls, friends, profile, blogs, groups|
|Raptr||gamers||app, game news, text, friends, groups|
|Rupture (defunct)||gamers||stats, text, profile|
|Second life||specific games: second life||store, app, text, virtual world, private messaging, groups, profile|
|Steam||specific platform: pc||store, game news, app, stats, pictures, text, friends, private messaging, forums, newsfeed, profile|
|Tylted||specific platform: movile; gamers 14 and older||built-in games, app, profile, private messaging|
|UGAME (defunct)||gamers||videos, pictures, text, in-game content, friends, profile, groups|
|WomenGamers (defunct)||specific gender: females|
|World of Warcraft||specific games: wow||gamified, game news, store, app, text, in-game content, stats, friends, groups, profile, private messaging, virtual world|
|Xbox Live||specific platform: xbox||store, game news, gamified, game hosting, text, in-game content, polls, stats, friends, groups, profile, newsfeed, private messaging|
|Yesmmo (defunct)||gamers||text, friends, groups|
|YouTube||general||app, videos, pictures, text, newsfeed|
|alvanista||gamers||gamified, text, videos, groups, newsfeed, profile|
|gamerDNA||gamers||text, stats, pictures, profile, newsfeed, groups, friends|
|player.me||gamers||videos, text, friends, profile, newsfeed, groups|
|tumblr||general||app, pictures, text, newsfeed, blogs|
To make more sense of this data, we plotted the social networks and their features on an interactive chord diagram, as shown below (mouse over segments to show their connections):
From this, we can see that a large number of these social networks allow sharing of game experience to some degree – by text, pictures or videos.
Editors note: Further analysis can be found here.
Social network listings: