New social games not so sociable

Operating under the belief that online social games have become too benign to accurately reflect our increasingly contentious society, one software maker is hoping to create a new niche in the fast-growing market.

“Angry Words With Friends” is the first release from Ms. Anthropic Technologies. The game combines the crossword-building skills of “Words With Friends” and the playful action of “Angry Birds”.

“Between Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and all the rest of that crap, we thought it was time for more realistic personal interaction online,” said MAT founder Gloria Redstone.

“You’re not friendly with fellow motorists; you give ’em the finger. You’re not friendly with fellow countries; you invade ’em,” Redstone said. “You kick your dog and you bicker with your spouse. Why should you be nice to all those anonymous assholes on the Internet?’

The company’s initial creation hints at what some future releases might come from the start-up firm. In AWWF, players are represented by small birds who are given a collection of seven random letters, and must assemble these into a word that is then hurled at a house built by pigs. The more profane and lengthy the word, the more points a player scores.

“Each letter is imprinted on a ball of animated hog waste,” Redstone said. “The more letters you can use, the bigger the ball, and the more likely it will cause damage to the structure built by the pigs.”

Points are awarded much like they are in “Words With Friends,” a Scrabble-like contest that has grown in popularity in recent months.

“If you can only build a small epithet, like ‘ass’ or ‘dork,’ you might only get 10 or 15 points,” Redstone noted. “Come up with something like ‘jerkwad’ or ‘rectum’ and you can score much higher.”

The background narrative of the game is about a family of birds that build their nest downwind from an industrial hog farm. The waste from the pigs, normally stored in lagoons, begins to overflow into a local stream which runs near the birds’ nest.

The birds have tried to reason with county zoning authorities over the issue, but soon become frustrated with the slow pace of government bureaucracy. They take over the fight personally, hurling feces at the pigs even as the animals look to expand their facility with new construction.

“We’ll even give players an option to have their words posted directly to Twitter and Facebook, so they can abuse all their so-called friends,” Redstone said.

Sources in the social gaming industry report that several similar products are also in the pipeline for release during the 2011 holiday season. One game will reportedly merge “Hanging With Friends,” a recent offering that allows acquaintances to play a virtual version of the kids’ game Hangman, with the wildly popular “Farmville.”

“Farm animals ready for market will be slaughtered, not with electric stun guns, but instead will be hung by the neck until dead,” one analyst reported. “They’ll already be strung up, so that step won’t have to be repeated at the packing house where the meat is butchered.”

Another concept still being fleshed out would combine “Mafia Wars” with standard text messaging so that players can threaten their friends with being decapitated and dumped in the river, while at the same time inviting them to meet up for a flash mob.

Redstone began her company only last year, claiming she became tired of the never-ending “GG” (for “good game”) and “LOL” messages being exchanged among relative strangers who would never be so kind to live people they actually knew.

“But what pushed me over the edge to start my own company was when ‘Words With Friends’ wouldn’t allow me to play ‘HOBA,’ which I contended was a female hobo,” Redstone said. “I phoned the headquarters of (WWF maker) Zynga and verbally abused the CEO. That’s when the light went off in my head to create something completely new and hostile.”

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