Social gaming is a wonderful thing. It's about playing games with and/or against your real friends, rather than a 'community' made up purely of people who have the same gaming device as you.

Social gaming is about knowing that you just tonked your mate's high score, not about trying to feel proud of rising from 16,786th to 16,327th in the global rankings for a game.

Social gaming isn't just about buddy lists: it's about your actual real-life buddies.

That's the best way to sum it up, but it's also one of the concerns about all these social gaming platforms that have sprung up on iPhone: OpenFeint, Scoreloop, Plus+, Crystal, AGON Online and the rest.

They're only on iPhone. And most of my friends don't own iPhones. Some have Android phones, others have BlackBerries, lots have Series 60 Nokia handsets... You get the picture.

I can tell them about the joys of player-to-player challenges, buddy lists and localised high-scores till I'm blue in the face, but they can't take advantage - even if the games that have those features on iPhone are available on their handsets.

Doesn't Facebook Connect solve this problem? Well, a bit. It lets me log in from an iPhone game and see which of my real-life friends is playing that game too - not just on iPhone, but on Facebook itself with cross-platform games like Bumper Stars, Tower Bloxx and Who Has The Biggest Brain?

In a few cases - the latter game included - this functionality has been extended to Android. But even so, right now, Facebook Connect on iPhone is mostly still about my narrow circle of iPhone-owning friends, not my wider social group.

So what is the answer? In time, hopefully, these social gaming platforms will spread to other handsets, with Android likely to be first in line. With them - again, hopefully - will go the games using those platforms, as developers look to give their titles a sales boost.

iPhone has justifiably been the first mobile handset to popularise these kinds of connected features, but if these platforms are to be truly social they'll need to spread their wings in the future.