Doof, a new UK startup about playing games and meeting people (sometimes described as social gaming), launched its open beta a short while ago and – I hear – is poised to start beating the marketing drums. Casual games are little time-wasting games (at least in my dystopian world) which appeal to the masses, so mash those up with a social aspect and you should, at least in theory, be on to a good thing which can spread games more virally than the Mini-Clips of this world, which don’t have an underlying social network, thus creating more traffic and more data about the user.
Doof offers a large range of games from arcade to action, cards and puzzles etc. Users get to create a doof profile which has a personal news feed, list of friends and various ego-boosting features like “bragging rights” and game playing statistics. In fact it has a lot of the functionality of a social network like Facebook (no vampires as yet as far as I know), including status updates. You can also rate games and other members creations. The site has leagues, tournaments and various other competitions to keep the community ticking over and appealing to people’s competitive streak.
The Money Gaming Corporation Ltd in London is the company behind the service. I’ve put in a call to the people there and am waiting for them to come back to me, so I’ll up date this post when I have more info.