London, Dec 30 (ANI): A new generation of 'sociable' games, which are played through the Internet, may be the antidote to fears that computer games are turning young people antisocial.
The rise of social networking websites such as Facebook could represent a major challenge to the makers of hugely popular video consoles such as the Nintendo Wii or the Xbox.
These sites have helped attract millions of people to games, which they can play with their friends.
In recent months, Internet games developers have received a string of multi-million dollar investments allowing them to plan expansion at a time when other businesses are making cuts.
Playfish, a British company that provides mini-golf and bowling games among others on Facebook, has attracted 25 million registered users since it was set up a year ago.
Another game on the site, a social networking device called Kidnap!, attracted 2.5 million new players in the month of October alone.
The Internet version of Texas Hold'em Poker has also attracted several million players.
Although interactive games such as online chess are well established on the Internet, the use of social networking sites in which people have ready-made networks of friends enables them to play games socially.
"People prefer to play with people they know rather than strangers," the Telegraph quoted Gareth Davis, Facebook's platform programme manager, as saying.
It has also spawned a new type of non-traditional game, such as Playfish's "Pet Society" which has attracted three million registered users.
In this game, players create their own customised virtual pets and decorate their houses. (ANI)