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Monday, March 24, 2008

Mytopia: Israeli Innovation For Social Network Gamers

One neat phenomenom about social networks is that they give users the ability to communicate and "poke" friends, even from long distances. While many of them have games on them, very few allow users from once social network to play the same game against a player from another.

Fortunately it seems as if an Israeli company called Mytopia hopes to change all of that--real soon.

(TechCrunch) There is a new casual gaming network in town that's got some serious cross-platform chops. Don't be fooled by the cutesy graphics. Today, Mytopia is simultaneously launching across Facebook, Bebo, MySpace (currently pending approval) and its own Website with eight games (Chess, Backgammon, Sudoku, Dominoes, Bingo, Spades, Hearts, Video Poker). On Monday, it will release the same games across the major Web and desktop widgets: iGoogle Gadgets, Apple Dashboard Widgets, Yahoo Widgets and Windows Vista Toolbar Widgets.

Here's the thing: the games work across all of these platforms. You can be on Facebook playing cards with one friend on MySpace and another on Bebo. And you can control what people on each network see about you. For instance, you can present your real profile to your friends on Facebook, and a different Mytopia avatar to everyone else. These are the sort of apps that could one day break Facebook's, or any social network's, hold on its members.

As the popularity of this game spreads, it will not be all that surprising to see Mytopia spread to other social networks with a more international flavor (such as Hi5 and orkut).

Note: Hopefully Mytopia can find a way to add this program to the iPhone, as many users (this author included) would be dying to play chess against friends on Facebook during the lunch break).

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