This is one of the newest Social-Networking Service that entered the market and this time it is for gamers like you. Not only gamers, but [game] Developers and Publishers as well, like me and my colleagues. the Great Games Experiment is still in beta and as such is in an invite-only mode, so here I will show you some of the neat features of GGE.
I'm sure you are already familiar with most of what you see in the screenshot like "Recent Activity", "My Images", "Inbox", "Groups I Own", and well "Beta Invites". Those are basic features an SNS should start with. With that, I know your eyes set on the "Share Your GGE Page" section wherein "Your GGE URL" is posted as well as the URL of your GGE Badge.
This is, I think, one where GGE will concentrate and be strong - the badges. As gamer, especially if you have a website or blog of your own or maybe in your guild's forums, you want to show a simple summary or ID to the world. The GGE Badge works exactly like that as shown below:
The GGE Badge lists the most recent 4 games you marked as "You've Played This Game" (more on this later), and a link to your GGE Profile page/URL which will show them this page:
Now as you can see from my profile page screenshot (or visit it directly), I customized my profile description, have a list of games I recommend, "My Links" and I have a "Feed" section where I syndicate gameshogun.ws. These are sections or modules that you can add to your profile page's main-pane (or left-pane). The other modules available are the Uber Module, Gallery Module, Downloads Module, Flash Game Module, Game List Module. Currently, you can not move the modules to be positioned on the right-pane, or create a new pane.
Other features of a GGE Profile page are "Ratings" where visitors can rate your "profile", "My Friends", "My Games" (explanation below), "My Groups", "Games I Play" and a code to copy & past your GGE badge to wherever html is allowed. Currently, a BBCode/forum compatible badge link/code is not yet available.
This is why I said that the GGE Badges will be one of GGE's main selling point.
A "game" badge (as shown above) will be very useful for any gamer who have a website or blog of their own. It will also be useful for community forums, however, we still have to wait for a bbcode/forum-compatible code, as it uses "iframe". Just like your personal GGE Badge, the 'game' badge have a link leading to its game page, where you can vote, post comments, reviews, learn who are the developers, and mark it as "I've Played This Game".
Everytime you mark a game as "I've/You've Played This Game", it will show to your personal badge's "games I play" section - as simple as that. You can also 'bookmark' the game if you wish, to easily come back to the game page of your favorite game next time.
The "My Games" part? Visit this game:
This is a game that I added to the database of GGE "as a fan". It shows in my profile page as "My Games". There are two meanings behind it, first is if you added a game "as a fan", it means that you have full control of that game's "game page". You can update the description, the spec requirements, add more graphics, add more "modules" (same as the modules found in your profile page), and approve "contributors". GGE offers an ability for other gamers to contribute to the game, and you as the "owner" (or "adder") of the game have to approve them.
The second meaning of the "My Games" is as literal as it gets, "my games". This is very useful for indie developers, and I think one of GGE's strengths, as other similar services will not allow the addition of indie games just like that (maybe as time goes by, GGE will implement more rules when it comes to adding games). And another neat feature is the "Developers" section for each "game page".
If a developer joins GGE SNS, they can mark each game they developed and be listed in that game's Developer list. This adds more depth and usefulness to GGE game pages, as a gamer (and most don't even bother about the developers) will know more about the people behind the games they play "in a human-to-human level", instead of a "gamer-developer" level. In GGE, though we can be a gamer and a developer, an ordinary gamer will have a chance to share discussions, praises (and negative remarks at that) with the developers, something that is really missing in many gaming websites and gaming companies.
There is also a section for [game] Publishers though this is still under development when I browsed it. But if I remember correctly, it was already available before, because when I first signed-up for GGE SNS, I used my work email, and I signed-up as a "Game Publisher". In any case, whatever improvements are in-stored for the Publishers section, I am sure it will great. To begin with, the "Publisher" section in itself is already a great idea, as today, more and more game developer companies rely on their regional and/or country publishers (or distributors - if it's a non-online game).
Now go sign-up, I mean, go request for an invite by visiting the official website at www.greatgamesexperiment.com and once you start using the Great Games Experiment Social-Networking Service for gamers, developers and publishers, be sure to answer their survey here. You can also give your feedback and bug report here.
If I get enough invites, I will post a new blog entry. My two invites are already reserved to my colleagues.
I know there are similar services already available out there, but just as I've said above, GGE have neat features that sets it apart from the rest. I may be wrong but when I checked those services a few days ago, they don't have the features of GGE. ^_^
Happy Holidays to everyone!!