There seems be an endless tide of online games and virtual worlds being made available to us, with more always on the way. Some of them are well-known and need little introduction, such as Second Life, Playstation Home, and Facebook games, to name just a few. But there's plenty more out there, some of which falls into the standard 'MMO' category, although it's a label that we find is steadily blurring as time goes on.

Darren Gladstone, Senior Writer at PC World, has put together "The Social Gaming Guide" for his Casual Friday column. In it he explores some of the mainstays of social gaming like the options found within Second Life and Facebook, but also sheds light on some lesser known alternatives. Gladstone discusses some of the choices gamers have with The Casual Collective, which he describes as "a cool casual-gaming waterhole created by the minds behind DTD," or Desktop Tower Defense. He looks at Whirled, an open-source gaming community which is home to Flash MMOs. "For players, Whirled is an awesome collection of hundreds of games, broken out by category and just waiting for you to jump in," Gladstone writes. Forthcoming Facebook integration will also add more dimensions to gameplay at Whirled.

Gladstone turns up a few lesser-known gems as well, such as Moondo -- a collection of casual 3D games tied together through a community portal -- and InstantAction which offers browser-based gameplay via an ActiveX install. Have a look at Darren Gladstone's "The Social Gaming Guide" over at PC World for more about the choices we now have in social gaming.

This article was originally published on Massively.
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