"Neopets, Habbo Hotel, MySpace ... Whether or not these particular sites will continue to thrive is irrelevant. Online networking feels natural to this generation, like Grandpa's Rolodex and Mom's Franklin Day-Planner." Allen Varney revisits the concept of the lifegame, and explains how pervasive, demographically-targeted social networks may not necessarily be the ruin of us all.
I'm going to have to say that Neopets is more of a collection game. The social interaction is rather minimal unless you join a guild and still it's nothing like Myspace or other social networks.
Of course Neopets isn't an SNS. But, that's the point. It's minimalistic, there's just a taste of it.
It's like the Gateway Drug, sure it isn't that bad and the effects don't completely blow your mind. Why would they? It'd scare the little darlings away that will be giving you money the rest of their lives... Gotta start small.
I think it's interesting that we've gone from villifying people who met over the internet (circa 1980-1998) and now it's become not only acceptable, but common place. It just shows hwo mainstream the internet and virtual interaction has become.
That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if within the next few decades we became a society completely reliant on the virtual domains for interaction. It sounds far fetched, but a decade ago I couldn't have imagined Rupert Murdoch investing in a company like MySpace.
MySpace annoys me. Not because it's a "community site" or because it's owned by Rupert Murdoch or because it's full of security holes or because it has a dumb name or because it's popular. No, it's welcome to be all those things. I don't have a problem with any of that. No, the reason I could never use MySpace is because the community that's sprung up around it is annoying. Show me an intelligent person who uses MySpace and I'll show you a person who only uses it because they have friends who they can't easily get in touch with online any other way. I haven't even ever seen a person use capital letters on that atrocious cesspit.
An advertiser who makes an advergame and tries to make it like or integrate it with MySpace to attract lots of people is going to miss out on a very elusive demographic, and one that often has lots of money to spend on consumer goods - elitist assholes like me who avoid specifically that sort of environment.
Well start a Myspace to bring up the average level of literacy then! Undermine it from within!
I think the other flaw in it is that the comments thread, that seems to run like a little message board, doesn't have the ability for the owner of the home page to reply on his own comments thread. I think.
Leading to the comments being incomprehensible "Yes I know"s and "No he did not!"s without any context. Only half the conversation.
It should be more like a message board or forum in my view. That'd be more fun.