Social media games

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)

屏幕快照 2016-04-16 下午10.36.17

屏幕快照 2016-04-16 下午10.38.44.png


  • 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)

屏幕快照 2016-04-17 下午9.57.43.png

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

Publications Ltd.


PRICE, L. & MASTERS, D. 2013, DUMB WAYS TO DIE: APPS AND GAMES, News International Trading Limited, London (UK).


6 thoughts on “Social media games

  1. Great article! I agree with you that social media games enhance and foster a greater connection between individuals. The routine of playing with family and sharing time together, but not always in the same space, allows users to always be connected and stay social.

    Conversely, you could also argue that social media games can act as an inclusive/exclusive decider. It has the potential to create a space where people can’t interact or be social, and that’s only because they don’t want to play the game or don’t want to join a social network site just to play a game. In that sense, it also separates and alienates people. They would shy away from real-life football with friends to play an online football game with an all-star dream team with friends on Facebook.

    It challenges the idea that social networks are always social since there are current studies suggesting that the opposite is happening. That’s mainly because people can control what they want to share online compared to real life, allowing them to create an idealised version of themselves. An extreme example would be “Hikikomori” in Japan. It is not just in social media games, but in gaming as a whole. People are so engrossed in staying connected and maintaining their presence online that they are disconnected from the offline sphere.


  2. After reading this article, I am quite attracted by your work.
    In the first part, you generally introduce the concept of social media games. After that, you introduce the current situation of social media games as well as the significance of the development of this rising kind of games to the social media users. In the second part, you state how does the framework be described from three points. In the third part, you indicate that you applied the audience engagement part of the framework(e.g. way of advertising and promotion) into your work. You gives an example and rich media such as video and pictures, which is a good point about your article. In the last part, you list the interesting part of this framework that is the huge impact of social media games on audience engagement. You also list the three characteristics of social media games as well as your prediction to the future of social media games. You use a chart but it is not so relevant to your article .
    Generally speaking, you did a really good job:
    Good definition of the key theory
    Demonstrate the great ability to critically analyze the core concepts, however the evidences are not enough
    Almost meet the requirements of writing a web article: proper tone, clear and simple content, brief and direct expression
    Providing rich media and most of them are relevant
    Include relatively relevant references
    There is a problem: the last part does not include the contribution of your work to the framework, which is listed on the Assignment 3 Tips. Any way, it is an attractive article. Thank you.


  3. The article is well organized and covers basic aspects as required, meanwhile, it present several interesting arguments which are also quite clear. I am also writing about games and sociality but focus on mobile games and from a different perspective. I am totally agree with you that social media games are becoming closer to gamer’s social life, and in fact, they enhance the gamers’ social networking, furthermore, become a new method of communication. Also, a relationship between game company, social media and players as consumers is well analysed.

    But I am not sure that what do you mean by traditional computer games, may be you mean the games based on PC, which require high-level strategies to play and need players to spend a lot of time on them – the so-called hardcore games? If it is, I think they will not be replaced by social media game. For the reason that hardcore games are not solely designed for entertainment and fun as casual games do, but offer the complexity of storyline and experience of culture for gamers. They are just two different types of games and contain different methods of “playing”, which are parallel and irreplaceable.


  4. I’m quite interested in your topic. Your article is clear and well-organized. At the beginning you demonstrate the relationship between social media and games: people may build up, matain and enhance relationship through the social networks. You also figure out the differences between social media games and casual computer games. The differences with the western culture and it is more specific. I’m totally agree with your good example of the Dumb ways, it is interesting and the succeed of this campaign can strongly prove your opinion.

    You also point out some disadvantages about the social media game, for example the audience may be addicted in it, it reflects how the games engage audience. At the same time we should think of how to minimize the disadvantage. Besides, you give some details on how the users contact other people by playing these games. However, the statistic shows the rapid growth of the smart phone user number. It doesn’t has direct connection with the social media games, so it is better find more specific statistic.
    And I also want to learn more about social media games on computer, because PC is also the main device for users to play these games.

    You also mentioned the profit module and predict the future of the social media games.
    Above all, your article is great and well integrated.


  5. Hi, I enjoyed reading your article! Indeed, social media games have become a huge part of SNS, and I agree with you that they are not only a source of entertainment, but also a way to enhance relationships with people around us.

    For example my parents who have never touched any PC games, are now playing social media games like Candy Crush or FarmVille. It’s interesting to see them sending me game requests all the time, and they actually play the games better than I do! I think it’s the casualness of social media games that allows broader audience like my parents to participate, which aligns with your idea in the article. Just curious, is it only me or do your parents play social media games too?

    I also like your illustration of using social media games in social media campaigns with the example of ‘Dumb ways to die’. I’m a great fan of this game and they also have created a great title song for the campaign, which makes the whole thing become viral. Besides interactivity, a good social media game could also bring brand personality and liveliness to the campaign organization. However, a drawback is that huge budget and efforts are required to create a popular social media game, and though there are successful examples, more are said to be failed. Once again, thank you for the well constructed article, I’ve gained great insights from it!


  6. This article is well-organized and I’m enjoying reading it. Social media games are quite popular, I agree with that social media games are not only entertainment tools, but also a way to keep in touch with friends, or enhance relationships with family. I’d like to add an example of how games help people socializing. Other than the traditional games, for example, Super Mario Bros, which is a game can be played by just one person, I do not mean this game is not good, in contrast, Super Mario Bros is quite good. However, this kind of video games is a bit old because it is offline. And in the digital age, people find that play with others might be another way to enjoy games. For instance, a friend of you recommend Dota and invite you to play as a team. Under this situation, the game becomes more social, you would know more people through the game, no matter the team member or enemy. And when you play Dota, you need to cooperate with other members to get the victory. This process could be social because you can type or talk to others, and you may know each other deeper if you think you guys get perfect collaboration. An online friendship can evolve into an offline one. That’s the socializing among games.


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