I think academia tends to lag behind what is happening with video games outside the “core” space – even almost a year after A Casual Revolution came out, there is little writing on casual games. Even after Sony and Microsoft have changed their strategies to capture the new market.
Why this lag? I suspect that there is a typical selection problem that the people most likely to go into game studies are the people most dedicated to traditional game culture. But there really ought to be hordes of dedicated Facebook gamers doing PhDs on farming games.
The report in question is from a July 2010 workshop “Social Game Studies: What Do We Know, What Might We Learn?” under the following call:
“In tune with the relative newness of the hybrid medium that is social games, this workshop pursues two goals: One, to take stock of the academic and industry research on social games that has been done or is currently being conducted. Two, to identify what (if anything) makes social games different to video games on the one hand and social networks on the other: Which theoretical approaches and methodologies promise to capture these characteristics, which new data sources, methodologies and research questions do social games afford?”
Get the report here: