Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Facebook… Should I Be Surprised?

So Starcraft II (and with it, I assume, all 2.0 games) is getting Facebook integration. That’s right, Blizzard doesn’t have the development resources to give us public chat channels or cross-region play but the game will integrate neatly with Facebook. What’s the point and where does this lead us?

The advantages for gamers, if you want to call it that, are easily summarized. You will be able to add your Starcraft playing Facebook friends to your in-game friends list and you will likely be able to inform everyone who doesn’t want to know that you just got the “Hello” achievement in Starcraft II. Do you know all those weird facebook games that plant various messages on your and other people’s message boards? Finally you can add Starcraft to that as well! More irrelevant spam surely makes Facebook an even more useful platform than it already is.

Super Mario Brothers Facebook integration by Zack Hiwiller (image:

But there’s more! Remember those people that you haven’t seen since high for a reason and that somehow found you on facebook? Yeah, they can now pester you in Starcraft as well. And who wouldn’t want their employer or professor to see that they played Starcraft all night before appearing at work/school? Awesome.

If you are any decent kind of gamer I can only suggest that you do not, in fact, connect Facebook to your account. Me, I might do it to see how far that integration goes, but I also have a Facebook account with zero friends to test it on.

I assume that there are a few people who keep a circle of gaming friends on facebook (and no one else) and who find actually talking to these people to add them to their friends list too much of a hassle, and these people will like the integration. I can hardly think that it will be a big deal for them either though. Definitely not one that’s worthy of a press release. The real advantage has to be on Blizzard’s side. Blizzard will get plenty of players who will advertise their game for free through the stupid spam announcement of achievements. And who knows, maybe a lost Zergling will find itself in your Facebook mailbox one day, begging you to buy Starcraft II to help it get back to its family?

I don’t mind social networking so much and I actually like the idea of a gaming social network, which could become. I have absolutely no interest however in intermingling my network of gaming friends and real life friends freely. Sure, some of my gaming friends might also be or become real-life ones, but that’s really a choice I wish to make consciously. Unless I choose to let someone cross over from one pool of people to the other, I’d rather have them separated, thank you very much. And I don’t need to talk any more about the stupid Facebook spam, do I?

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