In this column, Michael Walbridge discusses how asynchronous multiplayer social games build community, finding commonalities between popular titles like Mafia Wars and Kingdom of Loathing.
Michael Walbridge: "Lately some have been arguing that, as far as games are concerned, content is not always king. In the April 2009 issue of Game Developer magazine, Steve Theodore discussed alternative conceptions of games as art. After noting John Carmack's "We're doing entertainment" quote, Theodore writes: "Honestly, not many games can live up to the Romantic ideal [of art].
Recently, Chris Remo pointed out that many games seem to shoot to become epic, and Leigh Alexander suggested that perhaps it's time we stop looking for a "Citizen Kane". In short: games are games first and foremost, and anything else is incidental."