Social gaming for change: Facebook unleashed

Jennifer R. Whitson, Claire Dormann


The notion that we can positively change behaviours through games and play has long been accepted by social change game creators. In this paper, we argue that social change games should meet social gaming. Thus, we study the characteristics of Facebook style games and of the platform itself. We first discuss the positive traits of social gaming like the pro–social game mechanics, asynchronous multiplayer gameplay and the influence of the social infrastructure. Then, we consider how some of these factors can negatively impact social change games and show how these weaknesses can be addressed with careful forethought. Ultimately, we propose a novel strategy for the design of social change games and highlight how we can move forward to develop them.


social gaming; games for change; game design; Facebook; social networking

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