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Cut the Crap: Competitive Socialization

Cut the Crap: Competitive Socialization

Everybody wants to create competitive VR games. I get it. Esports is getting lots of attention. And the term “competitive socialization” (worst buzzword ever) is being used to describe the emerging category of social experiences like ax throwing, bowling, mini-golf, and other turn-based leisure activities.

The reason these games are popular is that people can do them while holding a conversation, and a beer. They have a cadence that lets one person take their turn, while the rest of the group continues the conversation. The turns are short so they don’t miss out. It’s one of the reasons that Connect 4 Hoops is so successful as an arcade game.

But, all competition is not equal. It’s important to understand the difference between social competition
and hardcore competition like esports, laser tag, or go-kart racing. These activities appeal to a different psychographic segment of your customer base.

Creating compelling, competitive video games is hard. Many companies have tried and failed. Most of the successful VR games in our industry are cooperative. If you want to look at competitive VR games, check out Overkill from VAR BOX at IAAPA booth 202. They’ve created the best player-vs-player (PvP) VR game I’ve seen. And they’ve built an entire esports ecosystem around it.

The best way to create a social experience around VR is with esports tournaments, building a community of players. TrainerTainment and I will launch a program teaching operators how to do it. Watch for an announcement at IAAPA.

Creating compelling, competitive video games is hard. Many companies have tried and failed.

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