Chosen core concept: Game and Social Media.
Game, especially the social media game, is a social culture.
It has alternation or transformation. Game and social media have underlying connection, and with the change of the game, there is a hybrid embodiment in social media (Goggin & Hjorth, 2014). Game become one of social tools and it is developed by social media. It is a bidirectional process (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). At the same time, to maintain and increase user viscosity and loyalty, social media start to actively open their platforms to interface game and even exploit their own game brand. The objective of it is to absorb flow, increase users and eventually expand commercial benefits (Kim & Hwang et al, 2016). Furthermore, game, as a social activity, has multiple modes in different situations and platforms. In our practice in this semester, we find that social media game mainly depends on its core content whether it is a kind of “gamification”.
In this semester, our campaign is how to make more people to be actively engaged in the free lunch-break concerts. To raise participants’ enthusiasm, we mainly designed a riddle game and a friend relay activity to connect and communicate with our audience. It is a fact that the game, no matter that is online or offline, often is one tool of drawing attentions rapidly and taking part in activities easily. In the light of that, we think that in a campaign, especially targeting at young adults, the game events would be easier and more accessible to get started. While the prerequisite is the mode of game and the threshold of participant would be straightaway and simple.
Therefore, a common “friends-tag” game was firstly determined, this sort of game is directly and compulsorily connected among users’ online friends. Which is quite similar with the “ice bucket challenge”, a hot relay game on social media. Which means that the social media game is not limited with the form or mode, it could be not an application built-in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or WeChat, it also could be an apparent and direct form disconnected with the frame of software (Griffiths, 2008). Any social media events with game content and specific objectives are social media games. Meanwhile, the riddle game, also an instance of that, but the difference between the friends tagging and the riddle guessing is that the latter does not have a visible process of interpersonal relationship connection. As it could implement, for the organiser, and participant, for the audience, without nominating on the Facebook or Twitter. This kind of social media game is usually inspired or originated from our life. We must have played the riddle game when we were in childhood, and we must make sense about it. Hence, the primary motivation of take this classical and simple into our strategy is to make familiar things be social-media. With the aspect of the content of riddles, to cater to the objectives of our campaign, the riddle are different classical instruments. In many activities, the organisation often has its expectation, and schedule then would follow this expectation and keep the theme uniform in case of off the point. So, our expectation is to increase the audience recognition of the classical instruments and concerts, and thereby for more attention drew on the free lunchtime concerts. In famous anime <Pokemon>, they created this riddle game in each set, to grab more interest of audience, which is referenced in our game.
But the game on social media usually exists with multiple modes. Except the non-application interactive game on social networks sites, the most common is based on one application or software. These games are known as mobile games, which user must have accounts, and it has sharing interface with mainstream social media. Which is quite different from what we tried in our campaign because these are more concreted.
One of the most popular games is “Pokemon Go”, which had an explosive success and generated over $14 million across the all mobile platforms where they are available on (Field, 2016). It is an independent application that you are accessible to download on different application stores: App stores of Apple, Google market of Android. It seems like no relation with social media, but the tide it created was sweeping across all social media sites. Animation aside, it created a unique mode of real environment digital game. Its content and mode are the contributing factor of success. And because of a huge number of users are addict to it, a topic or a trend was then simultaneously established. On Twitter, or Weibo, “Trends” are changed successively and shown continuously in 24 hours. Trends are caused by sharing and discussing of one sort of thing. Which on Twitter is changing with searching volume. “Pokemon Go” did once dominate the Twitter global trend. Such a phenomenon means that game is a not only a social activity, but also a new social media behaviour that would get through from the online to the offline and online again. Which means that the online would influence the offline, the offline would then reflect and promote the online. In terms of that, Hinton and Hjorth (2013) also state that game is revolution from original game to causal game. The causal game produces common topic, peer interest, and community behaviour as well. That is why residents living in Rhodes, Sydney, at one time surged by five-fold in 2016. Thousands of Pokemon Go players got together, updated their new harvest on their social media as there are three poke stops with rarer Pokemon. It is uncertain whether “Pokemon Go” could be duplicated, after all it is a IP mobile game.
Another social media game is embodied in social media, like Happy Farm on QQ Zone. Relying on the huge capacity of user, to enrich the content of platforms and then users’ liveness. In the biggest Chinese BSB, Baidu Post Bar, activation and retention are key factors to judge whether one Bar is successful. They do not have any independent game applications, or in other words, they transplant the game on their platforms (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). The games on different platforms would be exclusive respectively. Once a social media platform produced an explosion, its user flow would blow out. And in fact, users are willing to chase the tide and transfer the platforms. However, explosions and their platforms are facing a challenge that how to retain user when they are fed up with that game. Mostly, social media platforms would invent another explosion, with the similar pattern as before. While the user is not stupid. Hence, it is believed that how to keep creative and ambitious is a key question.
Therefore, we find that if social media are longing for retaining users, they must ensure the diversity of content, the content they transmit to users should keep entertained. In addition, to link external application is essential, the resource would be more sharable and accessible.
Game is a social activity, also could be a lifestyle,
Goggin, G., & Hjorth, L. (2014). The Routledge companion to mobile media. Routledge.
Griffiths, M., & Light, B. (2008). Social networking and digital gaming media convergence: Classification and its consequences for appropriation. Information Systems Frontiers, 10(4), 447-459.
Kim, S., Lee, J., Hwang, Y., & Jeong, S. H. (2016). Effects of prominent in-game advertising in mobile media: cognitive, affective, and behavioural outcomes and the moderating role of persuasion knowledge. International Journal of Mobile Communications, 14(3), 203-225.
Mangold, W. G., & Faulds, D. J. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business horizons, 52(4), 357-365.
McCartney, M. (2016). Margaret McCartney: Game on for Pokémon Go. BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online), 354.
Wu, D. (2016, August). Pokemon Go-ne! Rhodes residents end game craze chaos. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/pokemon-gone-rhodes-residents-end-game-craze-chaos/news-story/45e557052bdd4f3e52ca30f309f9db42.