Review of Social Features in Social Network Games

Paavilainen Janne Alha Kati Korhonen Hannu
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Although social network games on Facebook have become popular, their actual sociability has been questioned. In this paper we review the social features of 16 social games and as a result present a list of 30 social features in three categories: presence, communication, and interaction. A common set of features which were found from all examined games are mainly focused on presence and communication aspects, while neglecting player interaction. In addition, social features are primarily used for acquisition and retention purposes, rather than monetization. These findings are useful for the study and design of social features in social games and in other games with social network integration.


Gambling in Social Networks: Gaming Experiences of Finnish Online Gamblers

Kinnunen Jani Rautio Erkka Alha Kati Paavilainen Janne
2012 DiGRA Nordic '12: Proceedings of 2012 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

Online gambling is often regarded as asocial activity. Previously players could not interact with each other in online environments. The situation has changed as internet, in general, has evolved towards a more social environment. First Finnish online gambling games, eBingo and online poker, which enabled in-game social interaction were opened in the year 2010. This article reports findings from the study which focused on the social interaction connected with these games. Based on the questionnaire data of 409 players 16 players were selected for the thematic interviews. The analysis of the interviews indicates that even if social interaction is not necessary in order to play, it is meaningful in players’ experience of the game. The different levels of sociality before, during and/or after the game have an influence on the construction of gaming experiences and connect gambling as meaningful part of players’ social networks.


Women just want to have fun – a study of adult female players of digital games

Kerr Aphra
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

In the past twenty-five years, the production of digital games has become a global media industry stretching from Japan, to the UK, France and the US. Despite this growth playing digital games, particularly computer games, is still seen by many as a boy’s pastime and part of boy’s bedroom culture. While these perceptions may serve to exclude, this paper set out to explore the experiences of women who game despite these perceptions. This paper addresses the topic of gender and games from two perspectives: the producer’s and the consumer’s. The first part of the paper explores how Sony represented the PS2 in advertisements in Ireland and how adult female game players interpreted these representations. The second part goes on to chart the gaming biographies of these women and how this leisure activity is incorporated into their adult everyday life. It also discuses their views about the gendered nature of game culture, public game spaces and game content; and how these influence their enjoyment of game playing and their views of themselves as women. These research findings are based on semi-structured interviews with two marketing professionals and ten female game players aged 18 and over. The paper concludes that the construction of both gender and digital games are highly contested and even when access is difficult, and representations in the media, in console design and in games are strongly masculine these interviewees were able to contest and appropriate the technology for their own means. Indeed ‘social networks’ were important in relation to their recruitment into, and sustained playing of, digital games. At the same time, the paper found that these interviewees were largely ‘invisible’ to the wider gaming community and producers, an issue raised by Bryce and Rutter (2002:244) in an earlier paper, which has important implications for the development of the games industry.


Adolescent thinking and online writing after the use of commercial games in the classroom

Lacasa Pilar Martínez Rut del Castillo Héctor
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This study focuses on the connections between young people’s everyday experiences with video games and social networks, and the formal high school curriculum. We assume that digital literacy combines elements of traditional literacy and media education with other dimensions founded on the idea of a participatory culture. The research has been designed from an ethnographic point of view. It has been carried out in a secondary school environment. The main dimensions of the study were the following: participants, 18 boys and girls, the teacher and the research team; the school and, the activities which were organized around the video game, Spore. Our data are discussed taking into account some of Diana Kuhn’s (2005) contributions when raising the issue of education for thought. Intellectual skills related to scientific knowledge must be referred to abilities of inquiry and argumentation both of which are carried out in a social context and associated to contextual values.