Friday, March 28, 2008

doof - An Integration of Gaming and Social Networking

The Web 2.0 phenomenon affects millions of users as much of the movement is centered around social aspects of the Internet. Whether this be social networking, social bookmarking, or another form of Web 2.0 content, many services try to bring a friendly feel and encourage user interaction because the latter is drives the site’s popularity and success. You probably are in a social network, even if you don’t know it; Facebook, MySpace, last.fm, Twitter, and MyAnimeList all have elements of social networking involved. Many of these sites center around specific topics: Facebook formerly only covered college students, last.fm is centered around music, and BlackPlanet focuses on African Americans. An interest that has not been well covered by a Web 2.0 service, however, is gaming; there are a few minor services that try to incorporate gaming into their primary interest and subject, but they do little to actually integrate gaming into the social network.

Enter doof. doof is a service that blends casual gaming and social networking. doof calls it “social gaming.” It’s not the gaming you expect; doof is not centered around PC games, handhelds, or the three major consoles. doof is all about casual gaming and specifically revolves around its own games. But not only does it offer fun, Flash-based online games, doof provides the full functionality of services such as Facebook or MySpace. You can make friends, send messages, and play games together. The website offers a great amount of simple games such as Cascade and Jumpin Ride, but the variety is incredible and as with most casual games, they will be drain the player’s time. The community options seem expansive, although somewhat limited; there is a “Wall of Fame,” a doof “Pulse” (similar to Facebook status messages), doofSpaces, Global Chat, and more; none of which are perfectly executed, but doof does a decent job at each of them.

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Jason Kiwaluk

Mower & Shoveller,

Ecommerce | Adtech | Innovation | Strategy

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