Social games will monetize people in the future: Parody or inevitability?

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Toxic GooWait, isn't this just gamification? A clever Gamasutra blogger predicts in a scathing parody that the next step for social game developers like Zynga is to monetize non-players' responses to their social gaming friends. Have a deep hatred for your friend's endless FarmVille posts? "Now picture a world where Zynga sells digital toxic goo! You log onto Zynga's digital store, purchase a couple barrels of the stuff for a few bucks and pour it on your annoying friend's farm," Gamasutra blogger Robert Boyd writes. "Satisfaction gained and Zynga has made money off of someone who doesn't even play their games."

Boyd goes on to flesh out a world where the arms races moves to Facebook, in which players compete against non-players in thwarting each others' Facebook experience (and defending theirs from attack)--game or not. But wait, there's more. "And let's not stop there! After this cycle has occurred a few times, we'll send you a message about our new game, FactoryVille!" Boyd writes. "By managing your factory wisely, you can create a never-ending stream of toxic goo to pour on the farms of friends and foes alike! Of course, to have the best factory, you'll want to purchase a few of our virtual goods..."

According to Boyd, you can easily replace "toxic goo" with whatever is relevant to the game at hand and bring in a whole new demographic of money-makers who want revenge on their farmer friends. It's too bad that News Feeds don't interfere with those who don't play games anymore, or this satire would be more applicable. (Though, nothing is ever out of the realm of possibility.) Regardless, it's a chuckle-worthy outside perspective of the social gaming industry that you can find in full right here.

Would be game if Zynga introduced a feature like this? What are thoughts on the monetization methods of popular social game creators? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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