I love Sid Meier. Not just because he's a great game designer, but because he's a generally smart guy, as evidenced in this interview with IndustryGamers in which he talks "social" gaming in terms you should all understand.
"I think it's a new frontier", he says. "I don't think it replaces any other forms of gaming. It just is attractive to a different type of gamer. You're not going to see hard core gamers switching in totality over to social gaming or iPhone gaming or whatever it is, but you're certainly correct in that there's a lot of new outlets for gaming, whether it's iPhone applications – again, a lower development cost – Facebook applications, browser games, all these things".
"It just enriches the world of gaming as opposed to one thing replacing the other. But it is the new frontier I think. It's a place where we're still discovering the rules, what's going to work, what's not going to work, what's the audience. That's probably what makes it very exciting for me, is to be part of exploring the frontier and trying out different things that haven't been done before and see how they work in this new world."
"But I think we, every year or two, we do see a new – whether it's the Wii a couple of years back, or iPhone gaming or Xbox Live – there's always a new opportunity. Gaming is just growing into more and more different areas without really leaving behind any of the existing ways of playing."
My key take-away?
"I don't think it replaces any other forms of gaming".
Try and keep that in mind next time Farmville leaves you feeling threatened! An increase in social gaming doesn't mean a decrease in other types of gaming. It just means more gaming. For everyone. And what's so bad about that?
Especially since this man is a few months away from giving us Civilization, running on Facebook.
Sid Meier Talks Civ Network, Social Gaming and More [IndustryGamers]