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Social Songbird Exclusive: Interview with Player.me CEO Sean Fee

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Given the way that so many tropes born out of gaming culture have wormed their way into the framework of social media, you would think that there would be more platforms specifically aimed at the gaming crowd. Console interfaces and game library programs like Steam do include some social media functionality and there are more forums than anyone knows what to do with, but if you want a real, dedicated platform, Player.me is the place to go.

Designed to cater to pro-gamers, casual gamers, developers and everyone else besides, the site takes all the most critical aspects of an ideal social media platform and maps them to the gaming community. Users can stream updates from all their other social media accounts, it has a messaging service, friend tracking and all the other bells and whistles you'd expect of any platform, but so much more.

It enables users to track their scores, scope out potential new clans to join / members to recruit, keep in the know about tournaments and just chew the fat with peers about all their favourite titles. That could mean strategy advice, tips on how to install the best mods or just waxing lyrical. We caught up with Player.me CEO and co-founder Sean Fee to talk about the thinking behind the site.


What inspired you to create Player.me?

We just wanted to create a place for ourselves to hang out with other people who were into games. A place to meet other players, discover great videos or streams and new or classic games. We really feel Facebook and Twitter are too general and are more about people you knew in real life. They can never deliver the dedicated experience that the gaming community deserves, so we built Player.me to fill that need.


Do you think there was anything relating to gamers that other social media platforms were lacking?

I think other social media platforms are great but they're too general and more related to your real world connections. The gaming community is so huge now, and it's growing very rapidly, there really is a need for a platform that is 100% dedicated to it and not a platform that tries to shoehorn gaming related features into a general platform. There are and have been other gaming focused social media sites out there but ultimately they're a poor replacement for the more general networks, we wanted to challenge the big guys, but focus on 100% on gaming.


What was your background before you started developing Player.me?

I've been an entrepreneur for the last 8 years and have had a couple of digital media startups, but my background is really in business and finance. My co-founder Mak is a software engineer and he's been the major driver behind all the development work that's gone into the platform. We're both basically startup guys who have a huge passion for gaming, so we've managed to mix our passion with our jobs!

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What's your view on the ongoing gamification of social media?

Gamification is a popular term at the moment and I think it started with the likes of Foursquare introducing the badges and mayor roles. It just really shows that a lot of psychology goes in to everything around gaming and gamification is an extension of that. It's quite obvious how engaging, and sometimes addictive, gaming can be so loads of different types of businesses are trying to integrate some of the tools of gaming in attempts to recreate the same levels of engagement.


Do you think the integration between developing social media and gaming culture is moving in the right direction?

I do, in general. It used to be that gaming was kind of considered anti-social because you were in your room and either you had friends with you in person or you played alone, but now because of all the platforms available, like YouTube, Steam, Twitch and  Player.me, it's becoming way more social. People are able to discover and connect with other players and then they might even meet them in real life at gaming events around the world.


What are your plans for the future of Player.me?

Honestly, we want to build Player.me into the ultimate destination for people who have a passion for gaming to discover and connect with others similar to them. With our upcoming mobile apps we want to become the second screen for gaming, much like Twitter and Facebook are for TV and Film. We have some really awesome stuff coming up and what really excites us is that we've already created something we think is great...but there is so much further to go.


How have the ongoing advancements in gaming technology affected the way the platform has progressed since launch (and how will they, particularly with regards to VR)?

To be honest, the platform is so young that there haven't been a huge amount of advancements that have had a big effect on our platform but VR is something we're definitely looking at. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus was really interesting in my opinion because I think it could lead to the next generation of social networking and hopefully when that time comes we'll be in a position to deliver a VR related experience too.

You can sign up to Player.me here.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.
Social Songbird Exclusive: Interview with Player.me CEO Sean Fee Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Rating: 5

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