Hugh Pickens writes: "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. For instance, Farmville is today the most popular game on Facebook with close to 55 million people playing it every month. Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women who now outnumber men on the internet says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win. "Unlike men who like to first invest lots of money in a game console and then exploit it, women are more casual and like to do things on a daily basis, like the way they shop for instance,” says Kejriwal. "Hence, these game activities also gel with their life psychographic." Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, predicts that someone is going to create a social game in short order that pulls in a billion dollars a year and adds that gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. “Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,” says de Halleux. "It’s about ‘Look how I run my farm, look how smart and expressive I am’.""
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