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RESEARCH BLOG #3: Social Network Simulation Games compared to PC or other MMORPG games

Gaming on social network applications (like Coasterville) is also so much greater than solo PC gaming (like Roller Coaster Tycoon) because the game itself expands the more friends a player has. Zynga combines the fun of MMORPGs with social network simulation games. To progress, players can ask their friends to send items needed. Features like this, this interactiveness, ensure continual play. It can be frustrating having to wait to build the best virtual amusement park with all the amenities, but this social networking Coaster-game provides players with a much stronger sense of agency than traditional PC games because it works in real time, displaying clearly determinable goals that feel achievable because progress can be seen. Also, Zynga’s social networking games are so much better than traditional MMORPG games like WoW because players don’t have to interact directly in simulation games like Coasterville, but they still progress by sharing with friends and these friends progress by reciprocating. Friends can send coins to purchase park expansion, park decorations, and other items needed to build certain rides or attractions for example. This type of sharing is a major part of game progression, as players need the items only their friends can send to complete certain given tasks. They can play as solitary individuals, while still knowing their friends are just a world away, “neighbors” on the screen.

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