doof: Converging gaming and social networking

Doof, says company spokesman Devang Chouhan, is all about "playing games and meeting people" -- in other words: fun. The UK-based "social gaming" start-up aims to mesh aspects of multi-layer online gaming with social networking, providing a highly persona

doof

Doof, says company spokesman Devang Chouhan, is all about "playing games and meeting people" -- in other words: fun. The UK-based "social gaming" start-up aims to mesh aspects of multi-layer online gaming with social networking, providing a highly personalized and visually rich user experience based on the Flex technology.

Liad Shababo, founder of doof, explains: "When we came up with the idea for doof we quickly realised there was nothing like it in the market, and there was a real hunger among social networkers for something new. We have spent months working to perfect the platform, trialling it in Beta, and it is now ready to be unleashed on the wider public. It has been designed to be highly communal and interactive - more so than any other site I have seen -- but, maybe unexpectedly, it's also simple and entertaining. And that is the point. Social networking can become dull and gaming can get too intense -- doof is about fun and taking time out of the day to chill and socialise."

As Tech Digest points out, doof's claim that it's a "pioneer of social gaming" is "more marketing message than reality. Games have always been social, whether played huddled round a C64 or SNES, or played online on Xbox Live." What's new about the site though are the social networking features that it has built in, such as virtual gifts, chat, avatars, and status updates. And yet, with casual gaming sites adding more social networking features and social networking sites adding more gaming features (see MySpace's recent partnership with Oberon Media, the world's leading multi-platform casual-games company), doof may face some stiff competition from both sides of an increasingly convergent playground.

Ps. As a native German speaker, one word of advice: "doof" means "stupid" in German, and I'm not sure if that helps build the brand there...(and, trust me, Germans want to have fun too!).

 

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