Social play or social cheating? Another face of sociability in social network games

Suen de Andrade e Silva


This paper explores ideas of cheating and cooperative play in social network games. Despite being criticised for their supposed simplistic and exploitative nature, social network games have created a new game phenomenon, and have demanded a rethinking in the very meaning of social play. Through both empirical analysis of the Facebook game The Sims Social and participant observation of communities of players in Facebook, the paper discusses how social interactions performed within and around the game transform play in a complex articulation of cooperative and transgressive practices, and what implications it might have for the business model underlying social network games at large.


Social network games, social play, cheating, Facebook, social games, free-to-play

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