red herring !
The gaming industry's (and media industry in general) failure to realize that what really needs to be done is a complete shakedown and overhaul of the economics involved is pretty sad.
But natural given that the decisions are made by those with a lot of resources (aka well paid).
The only reason that 'social' gaming seems to grow is the inevitable gap between perceived 'value for money' that exists. Even though I'm quite well paid, have a house and a few cars etc. I still think paying $50-60 is way way to much for a game, even for a triple A title. Some, the really good ones, I think are actually worth around $40, most less than $10 (even when new). The thing is that the current pricing policy does not cater for this variation between (relative) quality OR does not allow this gap to exist.
Go look a gaming shelf in a shop today, complete and utter crap titles are standing there, priced at $60 next to AAA games with massive budgets priced at $50-60. It makes absolutely no sense.
Then comes the mum, buying a game to their kid, looking at all the glossy covers and takes one that looks familiar (most often a tie in title), brings it home to the despair of their kid.
They have dug them self into a hole.
Pricing needs to change, variation must exists, prices are generally to high. 'Social' gaming taps into this uncatered need for cheaper games with multiplayer mechanics (in a way also LIVE does this, but not nearly enough).
IMHO what needs to be done to take gaming to a really wide audience, it get games down to the $10-20 price level. At this point you don't really need much motivation to put up the money.
Yeah I know unicorns, clouds etc, I'm living with them.