Gaming on and off the social graph: the social structure of Facebook games

Kirman, Ben and Lawson, Shaun and Linehan, Conor (2009) Gaming on and off the social graph: the social structure of Facebook games. In: Symposium of Social Computing Applications (SCA) at IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, August 29 - 31, Vancouver.

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Gaming on and off the social graph: the social structure of Facebook games
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Abstract

Games built on Online Social Networks (OSNs) have become a phenomenon since 3rd party developer tools were released by OSNs such as Facebook. However, apart from their explosive popularity, little is known about the nature of the social networks that are built during play. In this paper, we present the findings of a network analysis study carried out on two Facebook applications, in comparison with a similar but stand-alone game. We found that games built both on and off a social graph exhibit similar social properties. Specifically, the distribution of player-to-player interactions decays as a power law with a similar exponent for the majority of players. For games built on the social network platform however, we find that the networks are characterised by a sharp cut-off, compared with the classically scale-free nature of the social network for the game not built on an existing social graph.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:Games built on Online Social Networks (OSNs) have become a phenomenon since 3rd party developer tools were released by OSNs such as Facebook. However, apart from their explosive popularity, little is known about the nature of the social networks that are built during play. In this paper, we present the findings of a network analysis study carried out on two Facebook applications, in comparison with a similar but stand-alone game. We found that games built both on and off a social graph exhibit similar social properties. Specifically, the distribution of player-to-player interactions decays as a power law with a similar exponent for the majority of players. For games built on the social network platform however, we find that the networks are characterised by a sharp cut-off, compared with the classically scale-free nature of the social network for the game not built on an existing social graph.
Keywords:Social games, social network analysis, social computing
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:2168
Deposited By: Ben Kirman
Deposited On:26 Feb 2010 10:33
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:34

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