I play a lot of Football Manager 2005. On this game I bought a lesser-known player from Norway whose position is marked as a “Defender/Forward Left/Centre/Right”. So he seemed adaptable, but I never got good results, no matter where I played him on the pitch, so I turned to Google to get more information – maybe other FM2005 players had an idea, or maybe I could find news reports telling me what position he plays in real life.
Instead, the first search result I get back is his Facebook profile. He has 679 friends, is single, and is a fan of Eric Cantona, the English Premier League, and, er, Tattoos and Piercings. What is the world coming to? Maybe Facebook is too important these days, with things such as these new ‘Like’ buttons popping up on completely unrelated sites, gathering your personal information and selling it to advertisers and so on. I’m not usually the kind of person to worry a lot about privacy concerns, but this could get a bit much.
This article by Raph Koster says it all really: ‘Facebook will become your ID card for reality’. “You will swipe your Credits card to buy your movie ticket using some credits you earned with the loyalty program in Farmville, and swipe it again to get into the theater. You watch the movie, which helpfully tells all your friends where you are and what you are doing.”
Whether all that comes to pass or not, with Facebook becoming so ubiquitous that everybody is on there (including lower league Norwegian footballers), could we be entering an age where Facebook games are what people think of when you mention computer games to them? Could we already be at that point? There are probably more people playing Facebook games than other computer games, but I don’t know if they would equate the two. Perhaps the age of specialised hardware for games is going to come to a gradual end, as web technologies start to close the gap on the standalone graphics APIs, with the benefit of a much larger audience waiting to play games in the browser.