Using Your Friends: Top Interaction Mechanics in Social Games

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Mia Consalvo's 2011 GDC talk "Using Your Friends: Identifying the top interaction mechanics in social games & social media." Please email me for more information on the games analyzed.

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  • Healthseeker- game w/no friend bar
  • How much are friends worth? 25 diamonds!
  • Farmville before I got going, but note the relative simplicity: plant crops; decorate farm; acquire animals and trees
  • FameTown: when friends visit, they increase the rating of any movie currently in productionCityville franchises allow for friends’ personalization efforts to persist across their friends’ spaces
  • It Girl, Big City Life allow challenges that test players based on stats, items, cliques, and so onBCL allowed voting on hottest outfits, across friends and strangers
  • Healthseeker lets you challenge friends to healthy lifestyle quests
  • asynchronous
  • asynchronous
  • How could a social game have a component that similarly engages players when they aren’t actively playing?
  • Social Book, as depicted in the video below, enables friends to read a book together even in different locations. Readers are able to share any part of the content with their Facebook and Twitter friends. The content could also be changed in real time by authors or even the readers. It works pretty much like Google Docs. Social doesn’t just stop here. Users are also able to purchase a book from a friend’s bookshelf, making eBook libraries connected, searchable and shareable. Lastly, it doesn’t matter whether you’re reading from a Blackberry or an iPad, the application is built to be able to read and share on any device. But for a start, it will launch as an iPad application first before expanding to other platforms.
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