In all the themes in this semester, the most interesting and attractive one might be the social media games. We play games for entertainment and relax, and the new social media games are not only fulfilling this purpose in its nature, but also making people connected through the social networks; people make, keep, and retain friends and relationship at the same time of playing the games.
- What is the core concept being explored?
The concept embedded in this theme is the Social media games. Social media games, as what its name indicates, are games played within social network sites (SNSs), such as Happy Farm and Mafia War. Nowadays, they have already stood as a popular and integral part of SNSs in many people’s consideration. Surprisingly. The social media games become not only a source of entertainment and relaxation, but also a way to keep and enhance relationships with friends as well as family. Thus, the professor calls for the ones who study either social media or games should pay a due attention to social media games, which have already become an essential part of the overall using of social media. In addition, as analysis of the social media games, the author pointed that they provide valuable room socially, which is not for merely altruistic reasons; and social networking sites and games companies rely greatly on the social games for a huge source of their revenues.
- How does the author’s approach the framework?
The author approached the concept through examining the occurrence the social media games in terms of both social media and game-studies as well. First of all, the idea that games right now can be social, which is quite different from what was popularly reckoned in the western culture the perception of computer games. Secondly, the social media games are analyzed specifically, those are, their particular role within the social media networking sites, the unique characteristics of the social media games, and the related indications of these games. Finally, a case study is presented, which focuses on the social media games engagement in Chinese environment. In this case study, the mediated relationships between generations are enhanced by the social media games.
- How can it be related to your own work during the semester?
The social media game has played an important role on today’s social media work and projects. Different from the previously recognized concept of game that interacted between two players, the social media game engages a broader range of users, as described in Hinton’s Social Media Games (2013), this kind of social media games are called massively multiplayer games (MMOGs). The involved audience is the most significant characteristic of the so called social media games. In this semester, my own work for this course in this semester about the social media project also need to attract and engage to as many people as possible. In order to do this, multi- channel advertising and promotion is applied. However, there might be a more creative and interactive way, which is to use the social media games, during the intervals or when the player fails to complete the task of the game, the advertisement of the promoted entity can be presented.
And also, inspired by the popular social media games, the Dumb ways to die (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwNHczwoJ8I), the entity promoted by this campaign is of great success. (PRICE, L. & MASTERS, D., 2013)
- What was the most interesting aspect of the course?
The most interesting part of this course in respect of the social media game is that in nature of the games themselves has a huge attraction to the audience. Sometimes the audience will even have been addicted to the games, though might not be a good outcome of the social media games, still reflects the huge impact of the games to the engaged audience. In this course, we all have get an opportunity to rethink that is the inside core value of social media which we are using and communicating every day. At the time we get used to it, we all need to think about it and then make advantage of it so that we can really devote ourselves in developing our target entity through the invaluable social media.
The social media games is a relative new kind of game that based on online social networks, which brings fundamental reforms to the definition of games. The social media games can be played not only on the PC platforms, but also on the mobile phones and iPads. As we all know, the smart phones have been a integrated part of people’s life nowadays. As the statistic shows, the number of smart phone users will hit 2 billion in 2016, and it will keep increasing. (see picture below)
source: Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2014 to 2019 (in millions) http://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/
The social media in any case will be engaging as many people as possible, drawing as much public consideration as possible and squeezing as much economic benefits as possible. When it comes to social media games, it seems that they can fulfil all of these purposes.
The characteristic of this kind of game is just the same as the social networks, in which you can add and follow your friends and interact with your friends. This kind of interaction is not merely the words and pictures, but also complete a task or fight with your friends.
On the other hand, since the social media games are based on social network platforms, the players can easily invite his or her friends through the social networks, so as to further promote the game to a even huger audience and attract more potential users to play the social media game. For for both the game company and the social media networks, this presented to be a huge opportunity to earn more attention and economic benefits.
The last but not the least, at the end of the day, the ultimate aim of the games is to create profit. When players want to upgrade the play experience, they might purchase some packages and tools from the platforms. This is the critical moment of the company. The social media games based on mobile platforms make it easy to do the payment. For example, with the occurrence of Apple pay and Samsung pay, the players can easily pay by just a finger, therefore, the combination of games, social networks and smart phones is not only providing great convenience for people to pay for their entertainment, but also a potential and essential opportunity for the profit-goer companies to win more money.
In the future, as can be reasonably predicted, the social media game will encounter enormous development by the companies. More likely, the traditional computer games will struggle to survive and gradually be replaced by the new comer, that is, the social media games. Besides the delicious profits for the company, the social media games also provided a new kind of communication method between people.
Dumb ways to die game
Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2014 to 2019 (in millions)
Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Social Media Games
Understanding Social Media (pp. 100 – 119). London: SAGE
PRICE, L. & MASTERS, D. 2013, DUMB WAYS TO DIE: APPS AND GAMES, News International Trading Limited, London (UK).