By James Brightman
Facebook and social games juggernaut Zynga are intricately tied to one another. The synergies have both helped the respective companies become hugely successful, so in our recent meeting with Zynga’s chief game designer Brian Reynolds, we asked what he thought of the movie The Social Network. As it turns out, Reynolds is a big fan.
“It’s my favourite movie of the last 10 years,” he declared to IndustryGamers. “I have no insight [into whether the movie’s depiction was true]. I don’t know what in it actually happened. I do know that they filmed it on the campus of Johns Hopkins, right where I live. I go there sometimes to talk to classes about games and …I end up walking through some of these sites [from the film] and I’m thinking, ‘That is so cool!’
But what I really liked about the movie was that it captured a lot of what this generation in the last decade has been about. In the web space, in entreprenuerialness…you know, the 23-year-olds are taking over the world now and there’s been this whole sea change in popular culture that has been made by the general wiring of everything and by all the kids – by which I mean young adults – coming up these days; they’re pre-wired for all this stuff and they can efficiently multi-task and text and all these other things that they do and somehow that movie coalesced it all into a really cool and interesting package.”
He continued, “Having been there in the sense that I’ve done start-ups and the little thing where the number ticks over a million…I totally know that feeling and the ups and the downs and the craziness and the talking to lawyers. All of those kinds of things have in some way impacted my life as a guy in technology, but especially in games and entertainment, and now I’m in an industry that’s extra close to Facebook itself so it just hit me in a good place at all levels. I loved the movie.”
Reynolds added that he did go on a tour of Facebook headquarters recently, which was “fascinating.” He joked, “Buy stock in 30-inch monitor companies is my take away from that. It was pretty much the coolest place ever in terms of walking around and…and there he [Zuckerberg] is right in his little room. You know that conference room they had in the movie where it’s all glass – that exists. He’s in there with random celebrities talking to them.”