Rise Of the “Samer”
By A.R. Montgomery, Plarium’s Associative Creative Director from the Plarium English Creative Department
“I play to enjoy the Social interaction … the number of players and the experience of meeting my League mates!” - Stephany Kraft, Stormfall™ Plarium Social Gamer.
It used to be that the image of a Hardcore Gamer was someone sitting in their bedroom alone playing the “right” PC games all night, drinking energy drinks and living off candy bars. It wasn’t complimentary.
Those days are gone, as gaming, although a social environment in principle, has become more social through the coming of age of true MMO (Massively Multi-player Online) gaming. Sure - you could sit down with your Wii, Sony Playstation and Xbox with your friends, but until gaming focused on the social experience through browsers, MMO PC games, and Social Networks such as Facebook, truly social gaming did not exist.
But what Social Network gaming has created is another style and type of gaming. The gamer themselves are not the traditional ‘hardcore’ type of player that we remember or stereotype. Now, with gaming on Social Networks, we are seeing gaming come out of teenagers bedrooms and into the mainstream of traditional non-gamers due to its casual accessibility. Mums and dads, retirees, businessmen, young and old; the popularity of Social Networks within our societies have engaged a new type of gamer.
So here at Plarium, we like to refer to our cherished gaming community as Samers – Social Gamers. With them in mind we decided to get some feedback from our community across all four of our Facebook platforms, Total Domination™, Stormfall™, Pirates: Tides of Fortune and Soldiers Inc. ™ to see what they thought and why they played.
We asked our players a list of questions regarding our games and one thing kept being mentioned when we asked “What was the best part of their experience with the Plarium platforms?” – and they overwhelming pointed to the social aspect - but let’s hear from the players themselves about their favorite part of the game and why they play:
Daniel James Bull (Stormfall) – “I play for the Social aspect; I now have over three-thousand Stormfall friends!”
Nicole Tompos – “I play to relax but I also love the construction and building aspect of the game. I believe the game is like life, only the strong willed and patient will survive.”
Shilo Forrest Mathers – “I love getting to know other people from all over the world.”
And some more from fellow players:
‘Doctor Dan’ – “The best part of the game for me is the people, it is so much fun to interact with so many fun people everywhere in and around this game, but my best experience is joining an amazing League (organized group/team) within Stormfall. The people within the League make the social and strategy parts of the game even better.”
Another player, Markus Nicolussi goes on to explain in greater detail and reinforce Doctor Dan’s sentiments:
Markus Nicolussi – “I classify myself as a Social gamer, although I play over 5 hours a day now and used to play 15-18 hours a day in the past. The best part of these games is the social aspect, which actually doesn’t completely happen in the game but around it with the social network. Within Facebook we are utilizing politics, strategy and diplomacy, all centered around a game and it’s many varied social patterns. Hopefully in the future, Plarium will layer the communication methods further within the game for a seamless experience.”
So you can see how we at Plarium don’t think of our gaming community as gamers per se – we now think of them as “Samers”; as it truly is the social aspect of MMO Gaming that makes the difference, connects vastly different people from all over the world into teams, groups, Clans, Leagues, Combines and Brotherhoods.
But we think our feelings are best summed up by one of our own community, Ivar Songe, who stated it the best when asked about why he plays Plarium games: “Simply meeting awesome people who stay with you for ages!”