Posted August 12, 2011 7:44 am by with 5 comments

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Well, that didn’t take long now did it? Yesterday, Google’s star of Mercedes commercials, Vic Gundotra, put the post up on Google’s blog that equal amounts of people were waiting for and feared regarding Google+. Simply stated, “Let the games begin!”

The best part for me personally is the last sentence of the following quote from the post.

Today we’re adding games to Google+. With the Google+ project, we want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web. But sharing is about more than just conversations. The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life.

That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.

Here are the initial set of 16 games that are being rolled out to Google+ users in the future. Not everyone will see this initially but don’t worry it’ll get there.

In case you are a little slow on the uptake, I am not a fan of these games. I will give credit where credit is due though. Google must know that there enough folks out there like myself who would rather get a sharp stick in the eye than have one of my friends requesting help getting a virtual animal out of a virtual mess or looking for me to help them fight some evil menace in fantasyland cyberspace.

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By all appearances I will have complete control over whether I ever see a game in Google+.

When you’re ready to play, the Games page is waiting—click the games button at the top of your stream. You can see the latest game updates from your circles, browse the invites you’ve received and check out games that people you know have played recently. The Games page is also where your game accomplishments will appear. So you can comfortably share your latest high score—your circles will only see the updates when they’re interested in playing games too.

I have to hand it to Google on this one. At least they are listening to people. Facebook just shoves all of your acquaintances’ game playing in your face and you are required to remove them from your feed. If a new game manages to get picked up by one of your buddies you will see it (news feed as advertising at its worst) and then it’s up to you to hide it. For me that just creates more disdain for the practice when there really doesn’t need to be any at all.

Google’s approach to making games a non-issue for those of us who aren’t part of that side of the online world does everyone a service. I don’t have to be bothered by something I have no interest in while those that are interested have the ability to be with folks of like mind and not get any flack from their friends who don’t. That’s how the real world works and Google is going to benefit from making that the case in Google+.

So for those who want games in Google+ it’s a great day and for those of us who don’t it’s a great day as well. Nice work Google. A rare online win/win. Now, let’s see if it works as promised.

  • Google+ looks like it’s shaping up to be very good, now could Google just make it available for Google Apps users!

  • If you’re not interested in games, it’s easy to ignore them. Your stream will remain focused on conversations with the people you care about.

  • I was soooo not looking forward to this – “Farmville” on G+?

    • @Ana – Agreed but at least you never have to look at it if you don’t want. It’s as close to an opt-in policy that you will see in social media these days.

      Small victories, right?

  • The good thing about Google+ games is that it has its own stream. I’ve tried playing some of the games and they looked great.