Existing systems: gaming social networks

By Peter West • 9th March 2014 21:25

Originally posted for the
Web Science COMP6051 module, University of Southampton

In order to determine the viability of a gaming social network, we’ll discuss some existing social networks which are targeted at this audience. In this post we’ll focus on identifying what social networks exist for gamers and their features. In a later post, we’ll do case studies of a small selection of those to better understand how they are used.

To draw up a list of social networks, we harvested from web pages that listed social networks for gamers. Typically, these listed 3 or 4, but some listed up to 30. These pages are listed at the bottom of the post.

Following this, we visited each and categorised the features, target audience and features of each.

We tagged the features of each social network based on the following:

The list below is the result of this categorisation:

CharacterPlanet (defunct) gamers game news, game hosting, blogs, groups
Doof (defunct) gamers friends
Duxter gamers gamified, built-in games, store, videos, pictures, text, stats, profile, newsfeed, friends, forums, groups
EvolveHQ gamers app, text, newsfeed, friends, groups, profile
Facebook general store, app, built-in games, videos, pictures, text, profile, private messaging, friends, groups
Faces of wow specific game: wow text, pictures, friends, groups
GAMERSN gamers gamified, polls, videos, text, blogs, forums, groups, profile, friends, private messaging
GAX Online (defunct) gamers game news, videos, pictures, text, stats
Gaia Online (Anime and games. Popular in USA, Canada and Europe. Moderately popular around Asia.) general; Open to gamers 13 and older virtual world, friends, profile
Gamer Driven gamers game news, store, text, pictures, groups, friends, forums
GamerVision (defunct) gamers game news, videos, pictures, text, blogs, groups, forums
Gamerbio (defunct) specific platform: pc, console
Games Social Network specific platform: web built-in games, be paid to play
GamesGrabr gamers app, text, profile, groups, friends
Gamestrata (defunct) gamers stats
Glinkster (defunct) gamers social bookmarking
HelloClan gamers text, pictures, newsfeed, friends, groups, profile, private messaging
Koinup specific games: sims, wow, etc in-game content, pictures, text, virtual world, groups, profile
Muzui (defunct) specific platform: mobile
Nintendo Mii Plaza specific plaform: wii text, pictures, videos, friends, private messaging, virtual world
Onverse general virtual world, profile, friends
PSN specific platform: playstation store, game hosting, gamified, game news, text, friends, groups, profile, private messaging
Pixwoo gamers
Playfire gamers over 13 game news, videos, pictures, text, stats, profile, friends
Playyoo (defunct) specific platform: mobile
Profile3.com (defunct)
ProfilesLive.com (formally Second Life profiles) specific game: second life pictures, profile, private messaging, friends, blogs
Pwned gamers gamified, game news, built-in games, pictures, videos, polls, friends, profile, blogs, groups
Raptr gamers app, game news, text, friends, groups
Rupture (defunct) gamers stats, text, profile
Second life specific games: second life store, app, text, virtual world, private messaging, groups, profile
Steam specific platform: pc store, game news, app, stats, pictures, text, friends, private messaging, forums, newsfeed, profile
Tylted specific platform: movile; gamers 14 and older built-in games, app, profile, private messaging
UGAME (defunct) gamers videos, pictures, text, in-game content, friends, profile, groups
Vigster (defunct)
WeGame (defunct)
WeeWorld general virtual world
WomenGamers (defunct) specific gender: females
World of Warcraft specific games: wow gamified, game news, store, app, text, in-game content, stats, friends, groups, profile, private messaging, virtual world
Xbox Live specific platform: xbox store, game news, gamified, game hosting, text, in-game content, polls, stats, friends, groups, profile, newsfeed, private messaging
Yesmmo (defunct) gamers text, friends, groups
YouTube general app, videos, pictures, text, newsfeed
alvanista gamers gamified, text, videos, groups, newsfeed, profile
gamerDNA gamers text, stats, pictures, profile, newsfeed, groups, friends
player.me gamers videos, text, friends, profile, newsfeed, groups
tumblr general app, pictures, text, newsfeed, blogs

To make more sense of this data, we plotted the social networks and their features on an interactive chord diagram, as shown below (mouse over segments to show their connections):

From this, we can see that a large number of these social networks allow sharing of game experience to some degree – by text, pictures or videos.

Editors note: Further analysis can be found here.

Social network listings:

  1. GAME ON: Top 5 Social Networks for Gamers
  2. The Biggest Social Network No One Is Talking About: Gamers – Buzzfeed
  3. 24 Social Networking Site for Gamers – SocialTimes
  4. List of social networking websites – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia