Did you know that most major video game consoles have a number of Social Media features? Within the last 3 years the video gaming industry has developed social technology alongside with their own new technology to provide users with another way to stay connected. The three largest markets for computer and video games are the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. 60% of all Americans play electronic games of one kind or another. Currently services like Netflix and Last.fm are available for instant movie and music downloads on consoles like the Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox360. Social Media sites have also made their way to online gaming with features like Facebook and Twitter being available to update other users about your status in the game world as well as the real world. These features connect to your console like they do for your blog… it’s pretty easy and you don’t even need to get out of your seat!
Along with online gaming comes the individual online communities. XBOX uses an online system called LIVE. On XBOX LIVE you are able to connect with friends, listen to streaming music, watch streaming video, get gaming news, download updates and game add-ons as well as play games together with a million other users around the world. How does this relate to Social Media? On XBOX LIVE when you fill out your profile information you are able to choose a “Gamer Zone”. A Gamer Zone is how you choose to use your membership or how you play. Zones include “Pro”, “Recreation”, “Family” and “Underground”. Initially these were set up so players could game with other players in the same Zone… avoiding the overly aggressive pros or finding a gaming syndicate on the underground. The Gamer Zone is the first breakdown on the XBOX LIVE Social Community… by simply checking a players zone you are able to get an idea of how they play, why they play and what kind of games they play while online. This is a big step; knowing and understanding your market.
The more revealing way social media is involved with XBOX LIVE is the Reputation or “Rep System”. Beginning on day-one with the first game you play online you are being ranked. Initially your reputation starts out at 3 out of 5 stars, once you play online and with other people your stars can go up or down. Players are able to view other gamers profiles and depending on the time spent in-game with them, players are able to prefer or avoid them. This then positively or negatively effects your reputation… it’s a full social community at work!
When the system works the way it’s supposed to you’ll be able to avoid players you dislike (either due to skill or over the mic communications) and never have to play with them again. Think of those guys as the SPAM of XBOX LIVE, they’re not really there to help, they just wanna mess stuff up. Equally you will be able to play online with your close friends as well as gamers they have deemed worthy to play with. This opens up a whole new social circle for you online and allows your gamer experience to be even better.
So by using what you know in Social Media and how social communities operate online, how would you market yourself or services in this seemingly untouched resource?